How to Save Money On Your Groceries

by Guest Contributor · 5 comments

Groceries are unavoidable because we all have to eat. There are many ways to save money while shopping for groceries, but some are more consistent than others. If you are feeding a large family, it is even more important to cut costs where you can, or this can easily become your largest monthly expense.

Coupons

Coupons are great, but only if they are for a product you already use. Many websites will offer you large numbers of coupons for filling out their questionnaires and agreeing to try several offers, but that, in the end, rarely does much for you. If you get a weekly newspaper, you should definitely take a look at the coupons, but only clip those for products that you use. Purchasing something you won’t use because you have a coupon isn’t helpful.

The next trick with coupons is to try to match them up with sales at the supermarket. If you purchase an item for $1.50, originally selling for $2 and use a buy one, get one coupon, you drop the price to $0.75 a piece, which is considerable savings. If you can do the same thing on double coupon days, the price drops is even more significant.

Stocking up and Planning

When foods you commonly use go on sale, purchase in bulk. Recently, General Mills cereals were on sale at the local supermarket. $1.50 a box is cheaper than generic brands, so I went and picked up 10 boxes of each cereal my kids liked. Each 10 boxes qualified for an additional $5.00 off, so I ended up paying only a dollar a box for name brand cereals. They don’t spoil and we will eat them for a couple of months.

Once you have the weekly circulars, plan your menu for the next week. Focus on the lower priced specials. If ground beef is on sale, you might plan hamburgers one night, chili another and spaghetti with meat sauce a third. You get three good meals for less. If you set aside leftovers as part of the meal plan for the week, then let your kids know; mine have a habit of eating anything they find in the fridge if not warned in advance.

Warehouse Stores

Check out the warehouse stores with an eye towards prices. Take the flyers from the supermarket with you because some things are cheaper at the warehouse. For example, tuna could be at $1 per can versus $1.69 at most markets, but others are more expensive. Also, you will be tempted to purchase more than you need, and if you don’t use it, the waste adds to the cost.

Warehouses are a great place to get discounts on prescriptions and meats. You have to be willing to portion out the meats on you own since they come in large quantities and most people don’t need six pounds of hamburger at one time. Freeze things quickly to avoid spoilage. Some cheeses and milk will freeze well, too.

Finally, when shopping for groceries, stick to seasonal produce. Cantaloupe may be a $1 a piece in the summer, but $4 in the winter. Local produce is also cheaper and if you eat a lot of it, you might want to look into a CSA farm where you can buy a share for the season.

Groceries are one of the best areas in which to cut back if your family budget needs a bit of updating, so get working!

In what is becoming a weekly Saturday event, I’m going to share with you an article from the How to Save Money on Everything ebook. It’s free for all newsletter readers so go get your free copy now by clicking here, or you can always come back next Saturday for some more.

Money Saving Tip: An incredibly effective way to save more is to reduce your monthly Internet and TV costs. Click here for the current Verizon FiOS promotion codes and promos to see if you can save more money every month from now on.

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  • Dave - LifeExcursion says:

    Great advice in this post. I wrote a similar post for my readers because of my knowledge of the market place after working there for 4 years. Check it out if you get a chance. It may help…. http://lifeexcursion.com/index.php/10-items-saving-big-bucks-grocery-store/

    David Damron
    LifeExcursion

  • Christie says:

    Good list to start from, and groceries is such an important, yet forgotten part of our savings list because many of us deem it as “necessary”. Clip some coupons, cut some fat and make sure you don’t buy too much since it’s unhealthy, both financially and physically.

  • marci says:

    #1 on your list should be – plant a garden. Put it in containers if need be on a patio – put it in plastic totes in your living room if need be – but plant a garden…

    #2 – Make everything stretch as far as it can. By the old fashioned basics – beans, flour, cornmeal, rice, barley, noodles…. and use them to stretch each and every meal. Boil or pressure cook ALL the bones up for broth to get one extra meal – soup or stew.

    #3 – Bake from scratch – it is sooooooo much cheaper than prepackaged convenience foods. (There are those rare exceptions when a food is discounted or on clearance that it might be cheaper than baking from scratch.)

    • CD phi says:

      Marci, baking from scratch is a great idea. I never thought it would save me money until this past weekend when I was able to make lots more with my materials as opposed to prepackaged boxes.

  • It takes some time and effort but the best thing we did this year was a comprehensive price comparison of all the stores within our market. It was amazing to see that some routine product prices vary as much as 30% from one store to another.

    I also found my new favorite store. If you have an Aldi’s nearby you’ve got to check it out.

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