One of my family’s largest expenses every week is food. I am always looking for ways to save money on food since this category is a large portion of our budget. With a little extra effort each week, your family should be able to trim the money budget, too. Several options for saving money on groceries are:
1) Make a plan for grocery shopping ahead of time and stick to the plan – Even though this make take time away from your schedule, the savings should make it worth your time. When you shop for groceries without a list, you are tempted to purchase items that you may not need. Create the list and only purchase the items listed.
From time to time we have cleaned out our pantry and have thrown away outdated food items that were not longer usable. The money wasted on food could have been used in other areas to either pay off debt or build up savings.
2) Look for meal planning options that help you create cost effective meals – After a Google search for “free cost-effective meal plans,” many options were available. One interesting article I read was found at http://www.rachaelray.com/2014/05/weekly-meal-planner-21-cost-effective-ideas. This article lists 21 ideas for meal planning. A simple click on the meals listed and I was redirected to the full recipe for that meal. Several of the recipes result in leftovers that can be used for another meal which leads to even more cost savings.
3) Find the best place to shop for grocery items – Take a weekly look at the grocery store advertisements to find the best place to shop. Many stores will double coupons up to $1.00 each and some offer $.01 mystery deals. You can only find out the item that is $ .01 once you are in the store. Some stores will price match so look over the competitors’ advertisements and bring a copy with you to the grocery store.
4) Buy generic when possible – I always look for generic options for most grocery items that I purchase. Generic items are generally the same as the name brand but sell at a lower price. Save money anytime you can by buying generic.
5) Shop by yourself – In my experience it is better to shop for groceries alone. There will be fewer temptations to purchase items not on the list. When the entire family shops, you may make purchases you would not have made otherwise.
6) Eat before you shop – When you are hungry you tend to purchase more food. I always try to at least eat a snack before I head to the grocery store. This helps keep the temptation down to purchase items just because you are hungry.
7) Avoid purchasing items in the check out aisle – Beware of impulse purchases while waiting in the checkout aisle. The reason there are items at the checkout is to tempt you to make those impulse purchases. Stay focused on the purchases you have already made and don’t blow the budget by grabbing a few items that are tempting. Just say no to these temptations.
Following a few simple tips can add up to a large amount of savings on groceries. Be diligent in your quest to trim the grocery budget and use the cost savings to either pay off debt or build up your savings accounts.