Buying Only What You Need
The first rule on saving money when grocery shopping is only buy what you need. If you do not need it, do not buy it.
1. Set a budget and stick to it. Allocate a set budget each month for groceries and don’t go over it. Without a budget, grocery expenditures can creep up to a point that causes real financial troubles.
2. Prepare a shopping list of necessary items, and only only those items. Preparing weekly menus will allow you to know what you need and how much. And make sure you check the cupboards, fridge and freezer when preparing your list.
3. Do not fall into the trap of impulse buying.
a. Never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. When you are hungry the expensive snack and ready meals look a lot more tempting.
b. Leave the kids at home. Kids at the grocery store can be a real pain in making you buy stuff you had not planned on buying.
c. When picking up an item always question yourself if you really need it before putting it in the cart.
d. Plan ahead for your grocery needs. Eliminate those trips to the store when only a couple of items are purchased. Try consolidating your shopping trips.
4. Try breaking old habits and even addictions.
a. By all means, do yourself and your budget a favor and quit smoking. Those packs can soon add up in price.
b. Alcohol is also very expensive. Cut back and save.
c. Snack foods can also pump up your bill and cutting back on these can make extra savings
d. Save money with concentrated fruit squash instead of expensive sodas and drinks.
Where To Shop
Where to shop is important in limiting expenditures on groceries. Some stores are more expensive than others. Go to several stores to get the best price for each item, and more value for your dollars.
1. Try and find a discount warehouse store. these stores are by far the best deal around.
a. While these discount warehouse stores often charge an annual fee, the normal household will save hundreds of dollars on their grocery each year.
2. Food markets will sometimes have good quality at lower prices.
a. Your local butcher and local fish market can often have good prices and some great specials, not to mention better quality.
b. Farmers’ markets are also fresher and better priced than at the local grocery store.
3. For not food items like light bulbs, office supplies, etc avoid grocery stores. Discount warehouse stores have many of these items at the best prices. If not available at the warehouse store, either use Target or Walmart.
Getting The Best Price
In addition to shopping at stores that generally offer lower prices, there are other ways to lower your grocery bills. With a little bit of planning, you can lower your grocery costs substantially.
1. Whenever the price is really good, buy in bulk.
a. Warehouse clubs may require bulk purchases, but most of the time the pricing makes it worth it, as long as you will eventually use it.
b. When an item is on sale for a “great” price consider stocking up.
2. Try to always buy on sale.
a. Check your local newspaper for announced sales , and look for unannounced sales while in the store.
b. Take advantage of buy-one-get-one-free offers but only for items you actually need.
c. Look on the top and bottom shelves less expensive products, where they are often located.
3. Buy store brands whenever they are less expensive than brand name products. While the price differences can be very large the taste and quality difference can be minor.
4. Always check the price per unit. Bigger packages are not always the cheaper option.
5. Take advantage of any store discounts available.
6. Visit lots of stores and get to know where is cheapest and if some stores are cheaper on certain items. Some stores will normally have lower pricing for certain types of goods. Take advantage of these differences by visiting more than one store.
7. Stay away from convenience and pre-processed foods. These foods are very expensive for what you get.
8. Plan your meals around in-season foods. Out of season foods are usually imported and run at much higher costs.
9. Check out the section for damaged or close to sell by date good, these are often just as good but at a much reduced cost.