The average family of four spends at least $600.00 a month on groceries according to CBS news. A trip to the grocery store doesn’t have to stress a budget. There are ways to save money on groceries but it will take a little effort and planning.
Begin with what is in your cupboards, refrigerator and freezers. Keep in mind the product expiration dates and use products accordingly. No matter how good the deal was, it was a bad deal if the item expires and is never used.
Collect the sales ads and coupons. While the Sunday newspaper is a wealthy source for sales ads and coupons, so can your mailbox, magazines and online websites. Sales ads run in cycles of 4 – 6 weeks, this is helpful when planning meals, as well as knowing what will be on sale and what to stock up on. Keep in mind, you can use a store coupon with a manufacturer coupon, in some cases this will make the item almost free. If you have a store membership card, use it. Often they will send you coupons or have special sales, always have the card scanned.
The internet can be a great money saving source. Most stores list their sales ads, as well as unadvertised sales. Some stores will have coupons, you can print. There’s a number of websites that will allow you to trade coupons you won’t use for coupons you can use. Those sites are also valuable for finding coupons not available in your area, that you can use. The internet is a valuable place to find rebates, too. Check manufacturers websites and search deal websites. A little time can save you a whole lot of money.
Next make a meal plan (menu) based on what you have already and what’s on sale. When making a meal plan (menu), keep in mind household activities. If your family will be gone a lot, maybe plan on cooking meals that will have leftovers. If your family will need lunches, maybe plan on them taking leftovers instead of sandwiches. Keep in mind any diet restrictions or eating issues when making a meal plan.
Don’t be store or brand loyal, it will save you money. Remember that just because some items are on sale, doesn’t mean you’re getting the best deals on everything in the store. If another store or another brand has a better deal, skip the coupon or the sale and get the better deal.
When making your shopping list, keep in mind your travel habits. If your shopping list is a little flexible, you can pick up items as you pass stores with sale items. This saves money on gas and on groceries.
When making a shopping list, note the quantity you’ll need. Only buy what you’ll use. Unless there is a really great special sale, then make sure you have room and stock up.
Also when making a shopping list, think about the store layout. Make your list accordingly, so you’re not wasting time walking all over the store for one item. This will cut down on putting unplanned items in your cart too.
When you’re ready to go shopping, take your list and coupons. Make arrangements for your children, so they aren’t begging or putting things in your cart. Then stick to your shopping plan and shopping list.
When buying vegetable and fruits cut up, you could be spending up to 160% more. Save money by cutting up fruits and vegetables at home.
When buying meat, check the reduced price section. This meat is at sale date. There is nothing wrong with it. When you get the meat home, use it or freeze it that day.
When buying sugar, flour and other baking goods, put them in sealed containers or the freezer. This will save the product for longer use, as well as keep bugs out.
Saving money is not over when you leave the grocery store. Saving money continues at home. Properly storing food will help save money by having foods that don’t spoil or are to old to use.
Don’t forget to send in all the rebates and try me free offers. Be careful to read and follow directions, so your request is honored and not rejected.
Grocery shopping should not be an activity done in haste. With a little thinking and planning, you will save money on groceries.