How to Save Money on Groceries
To save money on groceries today, you have to be savvy! Smart shoppers know how to stick to a budget and compare prices at every corner of the store.
Using coupons will save you even more, if you have the time to clip or download them. If you're not technologically challenged, there are also many apps that can help you save too.
If you want to get more out of your grocery trips, you’d better learn how to save money on groceries. From the writing on the wall, they're only going up in price and there is no telling when or if, they will plateau again.
The first tip to save money on groceries is to bend over a lot
! The bottom shelf of every grocery store you go to, is a land mine of great savings! Never, never go shopping without stooping down to a lower level!
Why are cheaper items on the bottom shelf? Because people overlook it the most! That's why it the lowest priced real estate in any store for manufacturers to display their grocery items! Grocery stores also don't want you to buy these items, so they place them in a location that's not as easy to see. Where are the higher priced items found? You guessed it! Right at eye level!
* Alternately, lower priced items can sometimes be found on the top shelves too!
How to Save Money on Groceries Tips
If you buy something every week and you find it on sale, buy several of the items on sale. You know they’ll get used!
Turn products like almond butter, yogurt, sour cream, tahini, and cottage cheese containers upside down in the frig. This creates a vacuum seal and keep the products fresher longer
You’d naturally think that generic brands are the better deal however, because of the money crunch, even name brand manufacturers have to drop their prices. I recently found Hefty trash bags for less than the Sam’s Choice brand! I used to just pick up the generic items thinking they must always cost less! I got fooled a few times before I started checking prices and comparing! Save money on groceries by doing the math.
Make a grocery list and stick to it. Figure out what you have at home and only buy what you absolutely must have. Sure it’s nice to splurge on stuff you want, but right now you must learn how to tighten your belt!
Most farmers reduce their prices towards the end of the day so they don't have to carry leftover's back to their farms. That's why its a good idea to shop at Farmers Markets later in the day.
Statistics show, that you won't save money on groceries if you shop when you're famished. If you go to the grocery store hungry, you are more apt to buy stuff you don't need or buy last minute items that weren’t on your list. Go food shopping with something on your stomach and you’ll have an easier time sticking to your budget.
Always take advantage of BOGO (boy one get one free) items, especially if it's something you use a lot!
Cheese is still somewhat of a good money saving protein source. If you substitute cheese for meat, you can stretch your cash.
Look for packages which offer coupons or clip coupons from online sources or newspapers. Don’t forget to take them with you to the store though. You won’t save money on groceries if you leave your coupons at home!
Can your kids live without some of the things you buy regularly for them? Sure they can! Get them involved in the money saving process and give them explanations as to why you can't afford those items anymore. Kids are resilient if you explain things to them!
There are so many free recipes online for 'prepackaged items' you buy in the store. Remember, you're going to pay for those fast food conveniences! It may take longer to make your own from scratch, but you’ll spend less and cut out the preservatives and additives that these products always contain.
If you make a large casserole, you’ll have leftovers for the week! You’ll save time on dinner and save energy by simply re-heating what you’ve already made. I like to make lasagna occasionally. We usually have enough for leftovers during the week and I put some away in the freezer for dinner in a hurry when I need it.
If you can’t live without meat every night, at least buy cheaper cuts of the same meat. Substituting sirloin steak for rib eye might not be as good, but you’ll still get red meat and trim back the grocery bill!
Beans are a great source of protein and cost less than a dollar, most of the time. You can also freeze beans for up to 6 months without them going bad.
Its amazing to me how much money you can save by buying a few items at the dollar store. I recently ran out of sugar and ran to the dollar store which was much closer to me. I bought an off brand 4 pound bag of sugar for a dollar. It may not be 'the best resource' out there so learn not to be so picky all the time!
Whenever you can, make substitutions for other things. Since tomatoes are not available as much, substitute red bell pepper or watermelon in your salads. When an item isn’t available, learn to like other foods instead.
You might think that buying your food in bulk will help you save money. This might be true if you live close to a Sam's Club, Costco, or other 'membership clubs' where you can get discounts for buying in bulk. However, if you don't live close to one and have to drive 40 minutes to reach one, you will be burning up your savings on the gas you need to get there. Not really cost effective!
A better idea is to just buy what you need week to week and look in the dollar stores for items you need to buy cheaply to afford. They may not have the name brands you're used to buying for some things, but the savings are there.
Flour and cornmeal products (as well as many other items) will last a long time if you put them in your freezer. Freeze anything you can buy now and put away to use later.
When you go to the grocery store, you'll find the best prices on items that are found in the perimeter of the store. (items like produce and dairy) Those products on display in the middle of the store, only entice you to spend more on stuff you didn't plan on buying. Most of them won't help you save money on groceries!
Whenever you can, get in the habit of taking cash to buy your groceries. No matter how much cash I take to the store, most of the time I spend within a few dollars of the cash I have in my purse. If you can't keep track of the products you pick up, see the next tip!
If you've only got a certain amount you can spend on groceries, take a calculator with you. It'll help you keep track of what you put in your cart. If you're infamous for spending more than you planned on, this can really help you save money on groceries! Beats the heck out of having to 'take away' after your groceries have already been rung up. That's a bit embarrassing and ticks off people who are waiting in line behind you!
When you get used to buying the same things each week, your vision can become narrowed because you're only looking for those items. Fact is though, that stores are constantly adding new lower cost items to feed the market!
Expand your savings just by checking out what other people are reaching for. Many times, you may overlook a new or hidden money saving item just because you’ve been accustomed to ‘grabbing’ your regular product. What is actually ‘a good deal’ changes constantly, so you’ve got to be prepared to ‘switch that brand’! This isn't a spy mission, but it is a suitable way to snoop out better deals and save money on groceries!
Take the farmer's market approach: Buy produce that's fresh, inexpensive and available at the time. With fewer middlemen involved, you get good buys and your family gets the freshest food.
Shop early in the day if possible. You will get through the store faster (with your list!) and tend to spend less money.
Taking the kids shopping is a lot more fun (most of the time) but beware! Those little helpers can quickly boost your bill and beg the money right out of your pocket. Try to plan your shopping when you're alone instead!
Take advantage of in-store coupon displays and the machines that have them. Look at the expiration dates and grab a few more coupons if the date is extended. (If you use the item regularly, you will save money on groceries.)
Seek out supermarkets that will double, (some super stores even triple), the face value of manufacturers' coupons.
Avoid purchasing non grocery items, such as shampoos, lotions, etc., at a grocery store. You will always pay more for these items! Buy these items somewhere else and you will continue to save money on groceries.
Some retailers guarantee that if the item doesn't ring up at the correct price, you get it for free or at a discount. Pay attention to the details if you want to save money on groceries!
No matter how careful you or the store staff might be, mistakes happen, so get in the habit of checking your receipts. If you find out an item rang up incorrectly, it's better to go ahead and get your money back right away!
How often have you gotten home and then a week later gotten out something that has spoiled before it's expiration date? We've all grown accustomed to just throwing it away and buying it again the next time we shop! Now is not the time to do this! Take it back for an exchange or refund. If the expiration date is still good, the store will have to refund your money!
To save money on groceries, you need to be thrifty and use common sense. Buy things that give you bargains and stay away from brands that cost more. We can teach the manufacturers to lower prices if we refuse to purchase those high end items! You might also think about growing your own vegetable garden, which will save even more money on the food you consume!
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Manage Your Finances by Organizing
Using Debit Cards – The Advantages and Disadvantages
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Could You Eat on $3.37 a Day?
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