Even without the recession, a major expense for a family is the groceries. You just need some amount of discipline to save a certain amount each month, if you need to lower your grocery bill. By lowering your spending on groceries, you may end up eating more healthy meals and have money to spare.
Here are some simple tips and ideas you can try:
- Decide on a weekly or monthly budget to work with
- Prepare the menu for the week in advance including lunch, snacks and dinner. Include more season fruits and vegetables, and lessen eating meat
- Keep a list of items you run out of stuck to your refrigerator and add this to the list you will bring when you go to the grocery.
- Keep a price list of items you commonly use to know when there is a deal.
- Browse through regular store circulars for bargains
- Take note of advertised items on sale and in what stores
- Keep coupons for branded items, manufacturers and stores
- Check websites for printable coupons and days for double coupons
- Find out grocery store sale cycles.
- Make an inventory of things in your pantry, cupboards, and refrigerator to check your supplies.
- Divide the list of items you need to buy by store, and schedule your trips, including the local market.
- Plan for visits for best deals in multiple stores.
- Shop alone to avoid extra purchases.
- Make sure you bring your list when you leave for the store.
- Do not go to the store hungry.
- Stick to your list of things to buy, unless there are great deals that are of value buying in bulk to stock up. Check the unit price.
- If there are some items like hamburger, meats, or chicken on sale try to change your menu to make use of these items.
- Try to avoid wandering in the store aisles except to check out sale items.
- Buy store brands that are of the same quality and use as name brand items.
- Check the labels for “shrinkage” in content per pack.
- Use your coupons and make sure instant coupons are scanned at checkout.
- Watch out for register pricing errors when you check out.
- Do not buy non-grocery items you can buy cheaper in other stores
- Join and use store affinity and rewards programs
- Do not forget to fill up and send out rebates provided.
Aside from the actual grocery shopping, here are some simple tips you can observe at home:
- Use a chest freezer for bulk items you can stock up when on sale.
- Cook dishes in large batches and separate in containers to freeze.
- Recycle leftovers into new dishes or freeze for later meals.
- Try estimating the amount of food you eat per meal to avoid overeating.
- Cook using raw ingredients and cheaper alternatives with the same taste.
- Avoid eating or cooking with processed or frozen food, and prepared entrees.
- Plant a vegetable or herb garden in your backyard or in pots.
- Drink a lot of water and fresh juice and less of costly beverages.
Value your time when shopping for groceries. There is no need to stay long comparing prices, weights and sale items hoping to save a few cents to lower your grocery bill. The extra time wasted may not be worth the savings.