Here are few simple tips to help you immediately save money in the grocery store as you begin your frugal journey. You always want to remember some things we do not have any control over but somethings we can control and the grocery budget is one of those things.
- Have a Grocery Budget – This may seem kind of silly but the most important way to save money in the grocery store is to actually have a budget. Determine how much you are going to spend before you get to the store. Now you may need to adjust your budget a couple of times until you reach a comfortable budget for your family. But if you have no idea how much you are spending it’s impossible to determine if you have saved anything.
- Pay with Cash – Yes, i mean literally throw down some green backs at the register. And even more horrifying if you do not have enough money put some of the food back. So for me this means I do not take any other means of payment into the store so I’m not tempted to overspend.
- Shop with a list – Take a list of what your family needs and stick to it. Now I give you permission to buy Toilet Paper if you forget to put it on the list but everything else can wait! Scrupulously record what you need on your list before you go and then stick to the list!
- Make a Meal Plan – This goes hand in hand with shopping with a list. Make a meal plan so you know exactly what food items you need to make your meals for the week. Additionally, you are not wandering around the store trying to buy things that will probably make a meal. (I have simplified my meal planning by using a breakfast and lunch rotation and having a permanent shopping list)
- Buy MOST Meats on Sale – Keep a price list of the meats that you purchase. Carefully watch the sales papers and when it goes on sale stock up. I’ve been known to buy 40# of pork chops at a time so I can avoid paying full price. I personally, make an exception for leg/thigh quarters which are regularly below .60/# at our local store.
- Avoid Brand Loyalty – There may be a few things that your husband has requested or if you have some allergies to deal with that you have to purchase the brand name. But just by buying off brands you will save a bundle.
- Use coupons – Again this one is obvious but i must be thorough. Use coupons when you can you can often save well over 10% on an item just by using a coupon.
- Buy dry instead of canned- This will both save you money and it’s healthier. The canned versions of beans for example are more expensive t
hen the dried bags of beans and the dried bags give you more food.
- Avoid buying things off of end caps or at the register – This is where the store puts the more expensive items hoping you’ll just grab it absentmindedly. Which is probably why manufacturers pay more to have their products placed on the end caps.
- The Middle of the Store is Dangerous – All of the preprocessed food will cost more, period. It’s almost always cheaper to make your own. In the middle of the store keep in mind that the top of the shelf is usually high end, the middle is prime retail space for manufacturers so more expensive products will be there. So we need to LOOK DOWN which is generally where you’ll find the least expensive items.
- Don’t shop when you are hungry – I know that if I am hungry and I go grocery shopping I will normally come out with something I wasn’t intending to buy but it “just looked good”. And no matter what DO NOT LET A HUNGRY HUSBAND anywhere near the grocery store with money!
So what simple tips do you use to save