I previously asked all of my readers what ONE tip would help you the most. The resounding one was “How can I save on groceries?”
Every time you turn around, it seems that the cost of food is on the rise. You budget for your food and yet, you still spend more (or find that you have to cut back on certain items).
I’ve put together my top TEN tips on what you can do to save money on groceries. Make sure you read through them before you head out to do your weekly shopping. They might just help save you a bit of oney.
1. Stick to store brands. Did you know the store brands are the same name brands with a different label? Where I live, the store milk is produced by the same manufacturer as the other more expensive brand. Compare the price of the store brand with the brand name less coupon savings and you might find you can still pay less by opting for the store brands.
2. Stack coupons and sales. This is where it pays to know a blogger to help. When you combine sale prices with coupons, you are maximizing your savings. These are the types of deals that might be good to pick up one or two extra and just create a small stockpile.
3. Shop the end caps / select sections of the store. Many times stores place clearance or discounted items on the end caps or in select ares of the store. Always look these over when you shop so that you can find those close outs — which you can often combine with coupons to find incredible deals!
4. Cash is King. Yes, yes, broken record yet again. When you spend cash at the store, you are less likely to spend as much. The key to this is to keep track of what you spend by designating your grocery spending in a single envelope. You put the cash in on pay day and when it is gone, you are through buying groceries – until your next pay day! This makes you really evaluate items when you shop and separate the wants from the needs.
5. Get the coupons from your Sunday newspaper. Start working on collecting coupons. Start small and just stick with your Sunday newspaper. Make sure you keep them organized so that you can find them when you need them (learn how to organize coupons).
6. Put in the time for your savings. It won’t come to you if you don’t put forth the effort. Take 30 – 60 minutes each week to plan your menu and your shopping list. Pull your coupons together so that you can make sure you have them handy when you shop. A little organization can help you make great strides in savings when shopping at your favorite store!
7. Avoid the gimmicks. There a many advertising gimmicks which make you spend more. Here are some to watch for:
- Limits. When you see “Limits” applied to purchases, it doesn’t mean you have to buy that many. People think limits means it is a hot price so they have to get one.
- “2 Fers”. This is common and you might see something priced 2/$3. Many think you MUST buy 2 to get that price, but you can actually purchase one for $1.50 instead. The only time that they can require a purchase of 2 is when it is advertised as such (like Walgreens does).
- Not really a sale. Many times stores will place a sales ticket on an item, when it really is not a sale. Check the original shelf price by lifting up the tag and you may find that the item is not really reduced in price.
8. Do the math. Make sure you check the per unit prices on items. It may appear that purchasing a larger item gives you a better deal, when it may be less expensive to purchase 2 smaller ones. Here is an example:
- Sale 1: 32 oz Juice on sale 10/$10 or $1 each (10 x 32 oz. = 320 oz., $10 ÷ 320 = $.031 per oz.)
- Sale 2: 64 oz Juice on sale 3/$5 or $1.67 each (3 x 64 oz. = 192 oz., $5 ÷ 192 = $.026 per oz.)
- Sale 3: 128 oz Juice on sale 2/$5 or $2.50 each (2 x 128 oz. = 256 oz., $5 ÷ 256 = $.019 per oz.)
9. Sign up for newsletters. Some stores might share unadvertised deals or even in-store coupons when you sign up for emails. This is a great way to maximize your savings.
10. Think outside of the box. Don’t stick with the big-box stores such as Target and Walmart for your household items. You can find some really great deals if you shop at CVS, Walgreens or even Rite Aid – which really stretch your budget.
What simple steps do you take to help save money on your weekly grocery bill?