Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday: How to Save Money on Groceries

I am a bargain hunter. Let's be honest. That 10 cents might make all the difference for me. Be it for good or for bad, I love a good deal. And since I have to go grocery shopping  so often, saving money grocery shopping can be an AWESOME money saver. But, I'm a little lazy and not willing to extreme coupon. These are what I do that helps my dollar to really stretch at the grocery store.

-Every extra trip to the store will cost you $20 and up-
Understand this. In shopping, minimize the number of trips you take to the store by:

*Making a List of What You NEED
Regardless of what you end up buying, if you come home without something you are actually in need of, you will end up going back to the store and spending another $20 on random stuff you find. SO, whatever you DO get, just make sure to follow your list of things you HAVE to have.

*Stocking Up On Freshies
Do you drink a gallon milk every week? Buy two. Do you eat 2 loaves of bread each week? Buy 4. If you keep a little extra on hand of the things you need fresh, you'll be less likely to go to the store again to replenish your stock. If you are out of cardamon, it's not likely you will run to the store that night to get some. IF, however, you run out of milk, you probably will.

*Plan Meals
This one is more time consuming and you really might not love doing it, but if you know exactly what meals you need to shop for, you will not buy extra things that you don't need- and it will save you big week to week.

-Get It Cheap-
Food keeps. It really, really does. Canned food is good for months and years. Cheese, unopened, is usually good for 4-8 months from when you buy it. Milk, meat, and many veggies/fruits can be frozen and then keep for months. You don't have to use everything you buy within a week from purchase. SO-

*Buy it Cheap, Stack it Deep
This is an old saying from when I worked at a grocery store- and it really works. Every store you shop at has sales. Do you need one can of green beans? It can cost 1.19. Get it on a really good sale, 2/1.00 or 3/1.00 and buy a dozen. Then, when you need green beans, just turn to your cupboard and retrieve that .33 cent can of beans, rather than running to the store and spending that 1.19 (plus the extra 20 you are liable to spend)

*Pick a Speciality
Divide up the groceries you buy into a few groups- this will be different from family to family
*Canned goods
*Non foods (cleaning supplies)
*Baby (diapers, wipes, formula)
Use these groups one at a time to employ the 'buy it cheap, stack it deep' adage. Each time you go shopping, based on the sales at your grocery store, stock up 1-2 months worth of one of these categories, and then buy bare minimum for the rest of them. For example, if cereal is a $1 a box one week, buy a dozen boxes of cereal, but only the meat, cheese, bread, canned goods, and cleaning supplies (and, of course, fresh fruits and veggies) that you need to last you for a week. Do this for 2 months and compare it to the amount of money you spent for the 2 months before starting it. You will be surprised at what you save.

Shop Around
This doesn't take long and is not time consuming- just pull up an ad or two for local stores before you head out to the grocery store and then price match their front pages. The front page of any grocery store ad will most likely be where all the best steals are posted, so by price matching these few deals from local stores, you will be able to maximize your dollar by getting the best deals from each one.
(PS: Wal Marts and many other stores price match)

Many of these might be common sense, but if you haven't tried them before, I do hope they help!

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