Since the cost of living is continuing to spiral upward, it just makes sense to make every effort you can to control expenses.
With a little thought, you can reduce your grocery bill dramatically!
Then, once you’ve made a habit of shopping to stretch your dollar, it becomes a game you look forward to. “How much can I save on this trip?”
In a way, it almost feels like you’re getting away with something, Though, in reality, you’re just being smart.
No, you don’t have to make dramatic changes to your eating habits.
Yes, you can still eat 3 square meals a day.
What it all comes down to is this: aim to spend your money wisely on good basic ingredients.
Here are some frugal ideas to help you save a bundle at the grocery store…
Follow shopping tips that work.
Two of my all-time favorite tips from the list are:
- Store brands are usually just as good as name brands; and
- Eat before you go shopping to help avoid purchasing impulse items.
I stick to those all the time. To those I would add: Compare prices between brands as well as between stores.
Armed with these tips, you will be off to a good start!
Yes, you can buy organics on a budget.
Even when money is tight, certain foods are worth some added expense. Organic foods fall into that category. For example, organic meat, milk and eggs are usually worth the added expense.
Use self-checkout to save money and lose weight.
Impulse buying while you wait in line can be impact you both financially and weight wise. Store managers know that while you’re waiting for a checkout clerk to ring up your purchase, those candy bars and cold sodas staring you in the face may be tempting enough to overpower your will to avoid them. Self-checkout lanes seldom have any of these type of distractions to temp you.
Buy just the basics, instead trying new things for awhile.
Set a modest budget for one month. Make sure it’s low enough that you won’t be able to buy high-cost prepared meals (like microwavable meals).
Buy only the most basic ingredients and break out your favorite recipe book to put those ingredients to work.
Do this a few times a year, and you will see how much money you can save simply by getting back to basics. This can work even if you’re following a special diet.
Buy foods at a grocery auction near you.
Dinged and dented cans, packages with nicks and tears, expired ‘used by’ dates… these are the kinds of bargains you find at grocery auctions.
You can often save 50% to 90% on food products simply because there are some aesthetic faults with the packaging.
Be smart when buying in bulk.
Buying paper products in bulk (like toilet paper, paper towels, and napkins) can be a good thing. Rest assured, those things won’t spoil or go to waste. Eventually, you will use it all.
On the other hand, buying a 5-quart pail of potato salad because the per pint cost of the large container is one-fourth of what a pint would cost by itself is a bad move. Unless you’re throwing a huge party, most of that 5-quart bucket of potato salad will be headed for the garbage by the end of the week.
Use the same ingredients in more than one meal.
When you buy fresh produce — such as tomatoes, salad greens or lettuce — for a chef salad, a few days later serve something like tacos or deli meat sandwiches using that leftover lettuce.
Shop at stores that specialize in low prices.
Stores that follow Save-A-Lot‘s business model can easily reduce your food costs by 40% or more.
At these types of stores, you will find just about everything you need that’s on your list. The difference is there will be far fewer brands to choose from. So if you want canned corn, for example, the store brand may be your only choice.
My personal experience has been that 95% of Save-A-Lot’s store brand products are every bit as good as name brands. Yes, I have run into the occasional dud, but the overall savings make it well worth the limited selection and occasional bad apple.
Here are 3 tools to find stores with the lowest grocery prices in your area:
Bonus Tip: Make a grocery store price book to keep track of prices at your favorite grocery stores.
Most stores offer their own unique store coupons on a weekly basis.
Most Sunday papers have bundles of manufacturer coupons as well.
Plus, you can find coupons online at stores’ and manufacturers’ websites.
Buying products where you can use both a store’s coupon and a manufacturer’s coupon will amount to a huge savings on those products.
Prepare your shopping list in advance.
Recently, I took my 80 year old mother grocery shopping. As we walked the aisles of the grocery store, I put each of her choices in the shopping basket. (She was buying from memory as to what she thought she needed.)
When she chose a 1-pound block of butter, I suggested the package that had individually wrapped ¼-pound sections — because it would be easier to manage. I never thought that she might already have butter on hand at home. When we returned to her apartment, I put the butter in the freezer, right next to the 3 other 1-pound packages she already had.
A grocery list prepared while looking through the pantry and freezer would have prevented this unnecessary purchase.
Find the best day to buy meat at your favorite stores.
This last tip saves me money on fresh meat every single week.
Knowing when your favorite grocery store marks down meat that has been on display too long means big savings every time you buy meat!
For example, our local Walmart Supercenter drops the price on meat every Tuesday morning. By mid day, they’re done lowering the prices and I’m there shopping!
More Ways To Save Money On Groceries
- The Secrets Of Superstar Grocery Shoppers
- 10 Ways To Save Big Bucks When You Buy Groceries
- A List Of The Best & Worst Grocery Stores
- Free Grocery Saving Tips
- When To Use Coupons & When To NOT Use Coupons