Save money on your groceries


When one sits down to plan out a monthly budget, there are certain fixed expenses that can be counted on from month to month. But something like grocery shopping, while providing a more flexible expense, can also be a budget buster if not careful. The good news is that there are many ways that you can save money on groceries. Many are well-known, but one way to make sure you don’t spend more than you should is to understand the grocery store, and how they are looking to make a profit by getting you to buy more than what you came in to purchase.

The first important step is to plan out meals in advance and make a list of exactly what you will need to prepare those dishes. Sticking to the list is one of the absolute easiest ways to save money at the grocery store. We’ve all made those impulse buys, but add a few of those in each time you shop, and you’re spending hundreds of dollars more by the end of a year. Grocery stores tend to spread the staples out, making you walk through as much of the store as you can, so if you have a list and can resist temptation, you will save money. Beware of items that stores place on the endcaps of the aisles. They are there for a reason, and while the item and price may be enticing, these are items with a profit margin for the store, and they are trying to tempt you by putting it right there in a special display. If you can find out when the meat department puts out their freshest cuts of meat, you might be able to take some meat home that has been reduced for quick sale that they are looking to move out to make room for the new products.

Coupons can save you big money, and are available in newspapers and online. Some stores even take double coupons. However, it is important to plan your meals, and then look for coupons you can use. Just randomly clipping coupons for items you didn’t plan on using can make you spend money that you really didn’t need to spend.

Buy in bulk when you can. Warehouse clubs such as Sam’s and Costco can save you money on the items you use the most. However, it is important to do your research and not just assume that prices at these clubs will be cheaper. Check the unit price on the item at your regular grocery store, and then compare it to the unit price at the club. Also, make sure the items you are buying in bulk are things that you truly will use up before they go bad. Wasting food is always a waste of money.

It is convenient to use a grocery store to buy your paper and plastic goods as well, since everything is right there in one place. However, this is one time where making a couple of trips can save you big money. Most of your basic paper goods can be purchased at a dollar store, along with things like plastic bags, plastic wrap, etc. If you knew you were paying half the price on these basic items that most families use frequently, you would agree that stopping by the dollar store occasionally would be worth it.

While it is natural to be loyal to some name brands on certain products, similar taste and quality can usually be found in generics and store brands. Shopping at an Aldi store can save big bucks. While they do offer many well-known name brands, many of their items are produced strictly for Aldi, and, in most cases, taste nearly identical to their better-known, and more expensive, counterparts. Aldi is able to lower their overhead by not providing bags and bagging your groceries for you, and the result is comparable quality food at much lower prices. So, if you’re not afraid of doing a little of the work on the back end of your grocery trip yourself, you can save big bucks.

With a little careful planning and determination, you too can save big money on your next grocery bill!

This post was written by

jason – who has written posts on Budget Clowns.
Father of three and married to a lovely women. Always looking for ways to save money, and invest it properly for my children's future.

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