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Top Ten Ways to Save at the Grocery Store

This post was featured at angelawd.

The grocery store bill can be one of the biggest expenses for a family. Luckily, it is also one of the easiest to shrink. Since time is money, the following is a quick and dirty guide to saving cash in the grocery aisle.

1. Don't shop while you are hungry! Even if you credit yourself for having great will power, you will inevitably buy more when you are hungry than when you are not. The most effective way to save money is to spend less of it.

2. Plan your meals and make a list. Taking a bit of time once a week to plan your meals will save a surprising amount of money on your food bill. Write down the meal, the day you plan to make it, and all the ingredients you will need to buy to make it. This saves you time, energy, and extra trips to the store. It also helps you to use food before it spoils, saving you even more money.

3. Stick to your list! So much easier said than done, and so important! Passing on impulse buys will save you a good deal, because these items tend to be convenient, and therefore more expensive. They also tend to be junk food, and avoiding them will save on your waistline, as well.
4. Use coupons effectively. Although there are dozens of coupons out there each week, using one on an item you wouldn't buy anyway simply causes you to spend more money. Instead, only use coupons for items you buy often or plan to use. If possible, maximize coupons by using them when the item is also on sale, or by purchasing as many of the product as allowed.

5. When something is on sale, buy a lot of it. Most grocery store items will go on sale in a somewhat predictable cycle. When a non-perishable or freezable food that you buy regularly gets marked down, buy enough to last you until it goes on sale again.

6. Buy in bulk...sometimes. This tip applies only to large families, or non-perishable and frozen goods. Wholesale retailers have great prices, but if the food ends up going bad before you can eat it, that's money lost.

7. Consider the price per ounce of what you buy. Many grocers list the price per ounce, pound or unit on the shelf label. It's very tiny, but very helpful for comparing prices between different brands, and even different foods.

8. Compromise on name brands. Most name brands are more expensive due to advertising and packaging, not necessarily because of quality. Try different products to see where you can make the switch and save some cash.

9. Use the preferred shopper card, when available. They are often free to sign up for, and will save you money every time you shop.

10. If possible, shop during a weekday in the morning. The store will be less crowded than at other times. Avoid Mondays and Saturdays, as these tend to be the busiest days of the week at the grocery store. When you are rushed, you are more likely to forget items you need, buy things you don't, and miss good deals.

Following even just a few of these tips will save you money. Following all of them, all of the time, will reap you great rewards: more money, time, energy, and sanity. And those are things we could all use.

1 comment:

Steph said...

Great tips and great website! I'm going to check in often :) When I'm at the grocery store I try to buy only "un prepared" foods, they are cheaper and you have to create something with them :)