In today's economic environment, many families are eating out at restaurants less often...so here are some grocery savings tips that I feel are very worthwhile.
1. Make a list.
I suggest that you plan your meals at home for the entire week, and make a grocery list before going to the grocery store.
Stick to the list and do not get a bunch of stuff that is not on your list.
I can't tell you the number of times that we have gone to the grocery without a list, and purchased all kinds of things that we thought we needed and intended to eat, only to discover that we already had plenty of that item at home in the refrigerator or in the pantry.
Although this was done with good intentions, oftentimes this food goes bad or reaches the expiration date without being eaten, and ultimately winds up in the garbage.
This tip alone can provide you with a tremendous amount of grocery savings.
2. Don't go to the grocery when you are hungry.
Most people know this rule, but don't abide by it.
This causes a great deal of impulse buying of foods that look good but you don't necessarily need... all because you are hungry.
3. Purchase storebrand items instead of the name brand items.
Many of the "storebrand" items are actually made by the namebrand companies, but these storebrand items are usually much less expensive and contain the same ingredients.
Compare the ingredients in them to see for yourself. This is not only true with food items, but also many over the counter medicines.
We find tremendous grocery savings each week by purchasing "storebrand" items instead of the namebrand items.
4. Use coupons.
Often times, the weekly sales ads contain special deals at the grocery store that week.
Furthermore, if you're like me, it will give you ideas for planning out your meals, which is necessary to create your grocery list.
Use these coupons, that's what they're there for!
Many of our local grocery stores promote double and triple coupon value days, just to incentivize people to use them.
Coupons may also be available online at the grocery website.
5. Sign up for the free membership loyalty cards.
Most big grocery chains have some sort of "loyalty card" that you can sign up for and receive for free.
These loyalty cards will provide you with extra savings when shopping at that particular grocery store.
Furthermore, our local grocery store, gives us a $.10 per gallon discount on gas fill ups, for every $100 in groceries purchased that month.
This can save you several dollars every time you fill up the gas tank in your automobile.
The grocery savings we find using this technique are huge!!
6. Watch for sales.
Recently, our grocery store had half gallons of milk on sale. The cost of two half gallons of milk was significantly less than the cost of a full gallon of milk.
Why? I don't know. But obviously, it was much better for me to buy the half gallons of milk that day.
7. Avoid the "prepared" foods.
Salad mix in a bag is much more expensive than buying the lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, onions, and other ingredients separately.
Just yesterday, at my local grocery store, a large head of Romain lettuce was $1.29, whereas a "prepared" bag of Romain salad mix was $2.97.
And I'm sure the large head of Romain lettuce will make significantly more salads than the "prepared" bag will.
"Prepared" hamburgers (both frozen and fresh - already in the form of hamburger "patties") are much more expensive than if you purchased the ground beef or ground chuck and "pattied" out the hamburgers yourself.
Plus, the hamburger meat will be more fresh and of better quality, and not filled with all those preservatives.
Oftentimes, the same holds true with chicken, pork, and fish.
Recently, our local grocery store was selling frozen fillets of cod for $6.99 per 12 ounce bag.
I was able to buy, however, "frozen fresh" cod from the fish department for $4.99 per pound, a much better deal than the pre-packaged frozen fish.
8. Avoid "prepared" meals.
Once again, you are paying for convenience, as you can simply put these meals into the microwave, heat them up, and they are ready to eat.
I have found that these meals don't usually taste very good, plus I'm sure they are loaded with preservatives to keep them "fresh" while they are frozen.
For kids school lunches, those pre-packaged lunches are undoubtedly much more expensive than buying the bread, meat, cheese, peanut butter, jelly, and other sandwich items separately.
9. Check the "Manager's Specials" for deep discounted items.
There are often tremendous deals on meat, vegetables, and produce products that must be sold in a day or two before their expiration date.
The grocers know that these items will simply be thrown away if they are not sold, so usually they are deeply discounted.
This can be a great place to find meats, produce, vegetables, and other products that you plan to cook or use that day.
I must admit, we don't always do all of our grocery shopping for the entire week all at once, and I just recently discovered this little secret, providing me with a tremendous amount of grocery savings.
10. Join a wholesale club.
If you're having a family get-together of some sort, one of these wholesale clubs may be a great place to buy the food...you can usually get large quantities of food at very reasonable prices.
Furthermore, this is also a great place to get common household items such as cleaning supplies, paper products, toiletries, and other products where an expiration date is not a concern.
Overall, by implementing some or all of the above mentioned tips and techniques, your grocery savings will really start to add up.
To Your Success...