7 Ways to Save on Groceries

by Traci K. on July 21, 2010

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One of the major expenses of daily life is our monthly grocery bill. Because it is one of our largest expenses, it also offers additional ways to save on groceries. We all struggle with how to cut grocery bills in half: we know we shouldn’t grocery shop while we’re hungry, we ought to clip coupons, check for sales, and buy up on paper good and shelf-stable items when we have money and space. But what else can we do to save? Here are 7 simple tips to help you save on groceries every single week.

  1. Always Shop with a List: When you go grocery shopping, always have a list made and bring it with you. Sticking to your list will help you avoid unplanned expenses, help you stay in budget, and make your grocery trip faster. Shopping by yourself helps you stick to your list as well, which will save you more money and time.
  2. Plan your Menu each Week: Plan what everyone will eat for every meal for the week, including snacks. It may sound tedious, but after a week or two it will take no more than 20 minutes and the benefits you will reap far outweigh the time spent planning. With a menu planned, you can plan to have leftovers, plan to eat out, and even plan convenience meals like frozen dinner night. Your menu is what you will create your shopping list from,  so don’t forget to check your pantry so you you use what you have first.
  3. Use your coupons especially when the items are on sale: We all know we should clip coupons, but what you might not know is that most stores will honor manufacturer coupons in conjunction with sales and store specific coupons, and many stores even offer double or triple coupon days where you can increase the value of the coupons you do have. You save the most on smaller items, so buying bigger isn’t always more. If you forget the Sunday paper try getting free grocery store coupons online from places like coupons.com , valpak.com, or coolsavings.com.
  4. Stretch your meats: Meat is one of the most expensive grocery items you can buy. A great way to save on groceries is to add one vegetarian meal (or more) per week. If you just can’t live without your meat, then watch your portion sizes! A single healthy serving of meat is about 4 ounces, or about the size of your palm or ¼ of your plated meal. Beef up your meal with a large dose of veggies, fruit and/or a bowl of soup to still feel full and save!
  5. Pack Lunches and drinks: If you normally buy your lunch at work or your children buy their lunch at school every day, try packing lunches and drinks instead. If you are going on a road trip, going grocery shopping, or any other type of trip try packing drinks to prevent buying more expensive single serving drinks. Reusable water bottles are great for everything from water, Kool-aid, or portioning out soda from a 2 liter bottle.
  6. Make it Yourself instead of buying it prepackaged: You can really cut grocery bill significantly by switching to making things like sauces, potato dishes, and even bread yourself from staples instead of buying it prepackaged. I can make a very large pot of homemade chicken noodle soup for about $7.38 with all store brand items. It makes about 8 large servings, which is about $0.93 a bowl. It takes me 20 minutes to make, and sounds (and tastes) much better than the $1-$2 per can of condensed and oily soup. Bonus: It’s often healthier and you get a bigger serving for less!
  7. Watch for scanner errors: As much as we’d like to think scanner errors never happen, they do happen from time to time. Some stores will offer additional discounts if you are overcharged, and some stores have been known to offer the item free! I write down the amount of every item according to the shelf tag as I grocery shop so I can keep track of how much I’m spending and also compare prices to other stores. If I get overcharged, I take my notebook and receipt to customer service to have it corrected.
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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Meritline Coupons July 22, 2010 at 12:20 am

These are great ideas especially when it’s going back to school time. It means more groceries to buy every weekend and buying in bulk, I think, is more practical. But it’s all okay because i discovered the beauty of using coupons..

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