How to save money on groceries
Always, always, always check the sale flyers before you go shopping! You can view them all online at each store’s website, or you can wait until you get them in the mail and then take a look. Circle everything that is a decent price. Whatever is on sale that week is what you will make for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.
Make a list (and check it twice)
After you have checked the sale flyers and circled what you would like to buy, write those items down on a piece of paper (or if you not as lazy as me, type the list on your computer and print it out). It’s best to keep like items together – all of the meat, then all of the produce, then all of the canned goods, etc. so that you stay organized while in the store. While you are shopping, check each item off of your list as you put it into your cart. Also, remember – don’t buy anything that is not on your list!
Coupons are not for everyone, but they do help you to save a lot of money while shopping for groceries. Even if you only save $3 or $4 on one trip – that’s $3 or $4 you still have in your pocket to keep for yourself. If you do like to use coupons, be sure to keep them organized. Pull out the coupons you plan to use before your shopping trip or as you are putting items into your cart. Make sure to have all of your coupons ready to go when you get to the register so you don’t hold up the line trying to find all of the ones you need.
Don’t buy brand name products
Unless you are a crazy couponer like me, it’s very rare that you will be able to find brand name products for less than the store brand. If you compare ingredients, brand name and store brand items are almost always pretty much identical. When you buy things like Kraft Dinner and Maple Leaf and French’s – you are helping those companies pay for their advertising. The advertising that just made you buy that brand name product.
Buy in bulk
Places like Costco are great to stock up on things you use a lot of if you don’t like to use coupons very much. The cost of the membership definitely pays for itself not long after buying it with all the savings you get from buying certain things in bulk. Be sure not to buy things that you won’t be able to eat before they expire. Stock up on items that don’t go bad such as cat litter, paper towels, and you can also get lots of meat and just stick it in your freezer until you need it.
Shop at farmer’s markets
Farmer’s markets are a great place to get cheap, FRESH, good lookin’ foods. Especially fruits and veggies, though you can get plenty of other items as well. The prices are usually much cheaper than the grocery store and in my opinion, the stuff usually tastes a whole lot better!
Never shop when you’re hungry
Before you go out to buy your groceries, make sure you eat something and are not hungry at all. Being hungry at the grocery store is a dangerous thing. You will be tempted to buy almost anything! I remember the last time I went shopping on an empty stomach, I was so hungry that I bought black olives because they were right in my face and looked delicious. I tried them and hated the taste – they went straight into the trash. My being hungry at the grocery store lost me $3.99.
Avoid the center
Grocery stores put all of their freshest and (usually) cheapest items all around the outside of the store. The rows in the center are usually for pre-packaged convenience foods that will cost you an arm and a leg to buy.
Check for discounted meat
When the meat is a few days to expiry, grocery stores will knock down the price significantly. Just freeze them and you have some meat waiting for the next meal and have saved yourself some money by buying it at a discount.