Everytime I walk into a grocery store, my wallet seems to drain faster and faster. As the cost of food prices, continues to rise, it is becoming harder and harder for families to come up with healthy solutions to “What’s for dinner?”. I’ve written dozens of articles on grocery shopping tips and ways to save money on food, etc. but this list is compromised of my favorites. So here are 10 ways to save some money on groceries and food.
1. Do not go when you are hungry. This is the worst possible time to shop. Even if you have a list, you are sure to spend much more than you would have adding a few extra items, when you are hungry. But also, do not go when you are totally full. This is why I list is helpful. If you only get what is on the list, you are sure to not spend any extra money at the store, but also not have to go back because you didn’t get things you needed because you were too full.
2. Shop generic. Store brand and generic brand labels are exactly the same as the fancy labels. Well known labels often sell their products to a generic or store name label, and its the exact product. Not to mention, typically there is not a huge difference in taste or flavor, especially when using it in cooking.
3. Do not shop the end caps. Look for your deals on the bottom and top row of the long aisles. They often put the larger, better valued products out of sight, and put the smaller, more expensive items at your eye level, hoping you will grab that product instead. Be sure and really take a look at size and value.
4. Cook from scratch. I know it’s my favorite quote these days, but cooking from scratch can save you oodles of money. Don’t purchase prepared or packaged goods, also known as convenience foods. They are over priced, and almost always loaded with terrible preservatives, extra sodium, sugars and fats. Making the same item from scratch would you save you quite a bit of money and is a healthier, fresher alternative.
5. Use coupons. There are almost always a nice supply of coupons in your Sunday paper, but go beyond even that. You can download coupons off of manufacturers websites, find them in the stores even, and use such sites as www.coupons.com or www.mygrocerydeals.com for weekly coupons and savings.
6. Join warehouse clubs like Sams and Costco. Not all families find a membership to these bulk warehouses worth their money, but for our family, it is worth our weight in gold. Being able to purchase bulk items allows us to stock up when we can, and buy HUGE boxes and portions of foods we eat regularly. Be sure though, and watch that you aren’t throwing away things because they met their shelf life before you could finish it. This is not saving in any way. Also be sure that the savings make sense. My coffee is NOT cheaper at the warehouse, even in a larger size.
7. Join your grocery stores money saving program if you can. Many grocery stores offer a money saving card that allows members to get savings beyond what is provided to everyone else. If you can stand carrying around an extra card in your wallet, the savings are usually worth it. Most of these programs are free to join and can help you save a lot of cash on your grocery store visit. Check it out.
8. Shop sales ads and buy what is in season. Meal plan around these items that are on sale or in season. Check out your grocery stores weekly sales flier and shop and stock up on the items that make the most sense and that you use frequently. Freeze extras items if possible or find a shelf in the basement to store your extra stock.
9. Larger items usually mean substantial savings. Keep an eye out in the meat department, produce department and even bakery department for family-size deals. Often the cost per pound is considerably less when you purchase a family-size package, rather than just a single meal serving. If it is too large for your family to consume in one meal, divide the extras up into plastic freezer bags and freeze them for another meal.
10. If its cost effective for you, be sure to utitlize different stores to save the most. We are blessed currently, to live nearby several different options for groceries. If you are too, be sure and spend some time getting to know your stores regular store prices for items you frequently purchase, as well as watching sales ads for all stores. Shop around to get the best bargains. We typically shop at two or three stores each time we shop, using some just to stock up on a sale item. It’s worth it for us.
Do you have any random grocery store tips you can share?