Many of us spend hundreds of dollars a month on groceries and don’t even realize it. The other day in the grocery store, someone expressed his concern about the amount of money his family spent on groceries — they averaged $300 a week. That amounts to roughly $1,300 a month on food!
“You’ve gotta eat,” but what if you could save more money on your groceries?
Here are five ways to help you save money on your groceries:
- Create a grocery shopping list and stick with it in the store. Planning ahead helps you identify the items you really need. It also keeps you more organized, which should reduce your shopping time.
- Avoid impulse purchases. An impulse purchase is when you buy something that you did not intend to buy when you went into the store. Sound familiar?Research shows the longer you shop the more money you spend, that’s why planning ahead and using a shopping list helps you get in and out of the store quicker. I know those displays and the big on sale price can be a real draw, but do you really need that?
- Use coupons. If I expressed the value of a coupon as a math equation, it would be COUPON = FREE MONEY. 😀 Coupons really help you save money instantly on your purchases. Some of my favorite places to get coupons are:
- Newspaper – Sunday newspapers are usually filled with coupons. For additional savings, you may want to consider purchasing a newspaper subscription. Money saved using coupons regularly from the newspaper should more than pay for the subscription.
- Store – Some stores offer additional savings with their own coupons. You may find them on the store’s website, in weekly store ads or offered through their preferred card program. These coupons have the store’s name printed on them and do not say “manufacturer’s coupon”.In many cases, you can combine the store and manufacturer coupons for greater savings. For example, if you have a manufacturer’s coupon for $1.00 off a particular brand and a store coupon for $1.00 off that same brand of peanuts – then you can use both of them and receive $2.00 off your peanuts.
- Inside-the-Store – The best place to look for coupons in the store are the weekly store ads or deals paper. You may also find them in the blinkie coupon dispenser placed in grocery aisles, tear pads near an item or directly on the item you are purchasing.
- Internet – The internet is filled with a lot of coupons. Many stores, manufacturers and coupon specific websites offer printable internet coupons. A few sites to try are:
- Shop smarter.
- Shop local grocery stores on sales days (if applicable). Some stores offer special sales — Sunday through Wednesday or during holidays. Weekly ads inform you about sale days and any special offers.
- Check the expiration date of items before purchasing them.
- Bigger does not always mean the better value. Some stores show you the price/unit calculation, which is very helpful in determining the most value for your money.If your store does not provide this calculation, you can use your calculator to determine the cheapest option. You simply divide the price (e.g. $6.99) by the unit size (e.g. 100 oz.) and the lowest price per unit is the most value.
- Check to make sure the price you pay is right. Some stores give you the item free — when it rings up wrong.
- Stock up on sale priced items. If you see rock bottom prices on longer lasting items (e.g. cereal) it is a good idea to stock up and save.
Do you have any others ways you use to save money on your groceries? Please share them using the comments.