Save Money On Groceries

Rebecca Scarlett By Rebecca Scarlett, 12th Jul 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Money>Money Saving Tips

Easy and painless ways to cut down your grocery bill.

Save Money on Groceries

Everything seems to cost so much nowadays that you can't afford to pay all the bills. Have you taken the time to add up how much you're spending on groceries? It’s true that everyone has to eat, but groceries have a way of expanding to take up much more financial room than your budget allows. How can you but back on grocery costs?
Well, the first thing to realize is that time equals money. You may not want to spend the time to comparison shop or cut coupons, but if you don't spend the time, you'll have to spend the money. Luckily, store flyers make it so that you can compare prices without actually going to all of the stores in your area to compile a list of prices for necessary items. It’s also possible to view most store flyer online, so just open multiple browser windows and you’ll never again have to wonder if maybe you saw something advertised somewhere else for two dollars cheaper. And you don’t have to buy 5 newspapers a week looking for the odd coupon--this isn’t the 1950s! Sign up for manufacturer newsletters--all you have to give them is your email, in most cases--and have them email you printable coupons. Check sites like coupons.com and coupon surfer.com to find coupons that are either printable, or in many cases, mailed to your house within days! As long as you don’t succumb to the trap of buying something you wouldn’t normally buy just because you have a coupon, you can save a lot of money this way. I only spend a few minutes a week checking out online deals and I end up saving 10-20% off every grocery bill!
Any items that you buy on a regular basis should be purchased for the lowest possible price. Staples such as bread and cheese can differ by a few dollars from store to store, and buying those items from the stores at which they are cheapest can take $20-$40 off your grocery bill, depending on the size of your family. Spending thirty minutes a week putting together a grocery list, together with which store each item should be purchased at, can save you hundreds of dollars a month. (You'd be surprised at how bloated that grocery bill can get when you don't pay attention!)
Another strategy is to stock up when there is a great sale. Any items that are non-perishable should be purchased in bulk whenever possible. When peanut butter goes on sale, fill the cupboard, and you won't run out of it until the next time it's on sale. Canned goods should always be bought on sale, and meat and bread can be frozen to last far longer if there is a great deal. Although this will inflate your current grocery bill, it will save you money in the long run.
Sometimes stores sell "club" or "value" packs that result in a far lower per unit price than the smaller packages, but the items are perishable. You'd love to take advantage of the great deal, but if the food spoils before your family eats it, you're just wasting money. This is when you call a friend or neighbour and ask if they like to split it with you. You get the benefits of the lower per unit cost, without wasting food and money! Carpooling to the grocery store also saves money on gas...and who couldn't benefit from that?
Stick to your list. Spotting your favourite snack cake on sale may lead you to feel like you're saving $2...and that's exactly what the manufacturers are counting on. Were the snack cakes on your list? If not, you are actually SPENDING an extra $3, not saving. After all, you weren't going to buy them until you saw them, so exercise that willpower and walk away.
If you really want to see your grocery costs fall, let go of the idea that brand names are better. The store brand products are made with the same ingredients, using the same process, often even in the very same factories that produce the name brands. Stop paying for an advertising budget and a logo and start saving money.
If you or your kids love fruit juice, you can start spending about one fifth of what you were spending before by buying frozen juice from concentrate. Think about it...why does the juice in the cartons cost five times as much as the juice in the cans when they provide the same amount once you add water? Why are you paying more for water than you pay for gasoline? Buy the frozen juice and add the water at home!
Another good tip is to try and buy fruit and vegetables in season as much as possible. If it's the middle of winter where you live, you're paying for the costs of transporting fruits and vegetables from the warm climes where they grow year round...and by the time they make it to you they're usually bruised or wilting anyway. Don't pay more for lower-quality produce!
Following these tips is painless, and could potentially cut your grocery bill in half! Why not try some of these on you next shopping trip, and you just might have some money left over to pay the electric bill...heating bill...phone bill...cable bill...

Tags

Grocery Budgets, Money Saving Tips

Meet the author

author avatar Rebecca Scarlett
Rebecca Scarlett is a professional freelance writer with over 14 years of experience. She writes articles, essays, blogs, short stories, plays, poetry, songs, novels, and does copy editing. She has been published in print and extensively online. Scar...(more)

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