There is no question that times are hard right now with the state of the economy. This has many people looking for ways to cut back on expenses and save money.
While there are many extras that can be done away with, food is not one of them.
Sadly, the grocery store is where a lot of people spend the majority of their paychecks, aside from the mortgage.
Therefore, wouldn’t it be great if you could find a way to cut your grocery bill by at least 25 percent or more?
While there is no guarantee on how much you can cut your grocery bill by, there are a lot of things that you can do to lower your monthly food expenses.
Below are some great money-saving tips that, if applied, will help you keep both your bank account and pantry stocked!
1. Forget about the name.
One of the quickest ways to save money at the grocery store is to forget about the brand name foods. For some reason, people think that buying brand name food is like buying brand name clothing.
Guess what? It isn’t! When it comes to food, often times the off brand foods taste exactly like the brand name foods…sometimes they taste even better!
And, the best part is that the off brand foods cost substantially less than the name brands do.
2. Make more from scratch.
Somewhere along the way, society has gotten pretty lazy and I admit, I’m talking about myself too.
It’s way too easy to buy prepackaged food and “whip” up a meal in less than 20 minutes. Obviously, we are paying for the convenience when we buy those “heat and serve” foods at the grocery store.
Therefore, you can save a considerable sum of money by purchasing the individual ingredients for a dish (think mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, burritos, etc.) and make it from scratch at home.
Additional benefits include serving foods without the extra additives and having leftovers, giving you another meal!
3. Shop alone.
I know it isn’t always easy to get away and go to the grocery store without the kids and/or spouse in tow, but you should when you have the chance.
Kids have a tendency to get the “gimmies” whenever they enter a store and by the time parents are halfway through the grocery store, the kids begin to wear them down and unnecessary (and often unhealthy) foods make it into the basket.
The same can happen when you bring the spouse along too. The only difference is that it’s harder to tell your spouse “no” than it is the kids.
4. Go on a full stomach.
Another money saving tip is to do your grocery shopping on a full stomach. It’s easier to stroll past all the non-essential food items when you aren’t hungry than it is whey your stomach is growling. This tip alone can save you $10 or more at the grocery store!
5. Make your own salad.
Did you know that those little bags of lettuce cost two to three times more than a head of lettuce does? The same is true for grated cheese. You can buy a small block of cheese for a fraction of the cost.
Making your own salad dressing will also save you money. Therefore, if you are a salad enthusiast, start making your own salads. Not only will you save money, but they will taste better too.
6. Clip coupons.
Chances are that you have seen the extreme coupon shows on television and been in awe at how much money those people can save.
While there is an art to saving that much money with coupons, there isn’t an art to saving with coupons.
You don’t have to be an extreme coupon user in order to save money. Take a little extra time and browse the coupon fliers in the Sunday paper and clip out the coupons for foods that you would normally buy. Then, use them.
7. Buy meat when it is on sale.
While you are looking through the coupon ads, browse the weekly grocery specials for meat. Plan a meal or two around the specific kind of meat that is currently on sale.
You can always buy fresh meat and freeze it for later too. Considering meat is one of the most expensive foods you will buy at the grocery store, it only makes sense to buy it when it is on sale and plan your weekly meals around it.
8. Always make a list.
Never, ever go to the grocery store without a list. This is one of the biggest money-making mistakes people make at grocery stores.
When someone goes into the store without a list, most of the time they end up with half of what they really need and a lot of things they don’t need.
Therefore, make a list before you go to the store and only buy what is on your list.
In order to make your list effective, plan out the meals for the week (or two weeks…however often you go to the store) and put the ingredients for each meal on your list to ensure you get everything and don’t have to make another trip.
9. Shop the outside perimeter first.
It’s no big secret that grocery stores are set up with the produce at one end of the store, meat is generally in the middle and dairy is at the other end…all along the outside perimeter.
This is done so that consumers are more likely to start at one end and work their way to the other end, after going through all the aisles in between.
Therefore, shop the outside perimeter first and get the necessities and only visit the aisles that have the additional items on your list.
Do not shop all of the middle aisles or you will most likely spend extra money.
10. Shop in bulk.
Finally, if you have access to a Sam’s Club, Costco or another store that sells items in bulk, use it. You can save a lot of money when you buy items in bulk. Just make sure you purchase items that you will use.
Groceries aren’t the only items you can buy at these stores either. They sale everything from electronics to clothing to the essentials.
As you can see, there are a lot of ways to save money at the grocery store. The list above contains only ten, but there are many more.
The trick is to take an objective look at your current shopping habits and be willing to change them up a bit.
It can be done, and once it is done you will realize it wasn’t really as hard as you thought it would be.
In fact, many of these money-saving tips will also help you save time at the grocery store too!
What’s your biggest issue? How do you handle it – or can you think of any additional tips you can share with others if you don’t have an issue with this in your life?
Share them with us in our Comments – or share this blog post on Twitter or Facebook or wherever you feel it could help someone you know.
Cheers, Helene Malmsio
Related Reading: https://www.discoveryhub.net/how-to-make-a-budget-and-save-money.html
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