Grocery shopping can sometimes take a bigger chunk out of your wallet than you ever expected! Those two, three and five dollar items add up a lot quicker than you would expect. Here are 8 great ways to make sure that doesn’t happen and save you some precious pennies when you’re at the grocery store!
1 Make a List
Before you head off to Wal-Mart, make a list of exactly what you need. Once you get there and start shopping around, stick to the list. Try not to be distracted by those little displays at the end of the aisle with donuts and sweets piled high. You may not notice, but they are usually priced 1 or 2 dollars higher than what they are on the shelf!
2 Use Coupons
Coupons can be such a lifesaver! Clip them out of sale papers and magazines, print them offline or swap them out with friends if you each have one you won’t use. Sometimes you can even grab them off the store shelves! Just make sure you buy things that you can actually use with the coupons. Don’t grab something just because you have a coupon for it if it’s not something you would generally use.
3 Buy the off Brand
Don’t feel like you have to buy the name brand in every item you need. Things like canned vegetables, frozen items or peanut butter will generally have the same taste as a name brand would. There may be some things that don’t work in a store brand, such as soft drinks or toilet paper. Experiment around and find out what works for you and what doesn’t!
4 Have a Menu
Go to the store with a menu written down on paper and keep it with your list. A really good idea is to look in the grocery sale paper of the week and plan your menu around the meats that are on sale that week. If you know what you are going to make for dinner, then you will be better able to stick to your list! Eat something before you leave and you won’t be tempted to buy all the junk food and chips you see in the store.
5 Stock up on Sale Items
If a certain item that you eat or use a lot of is on sale, be sure and buy a lot of it! Good things to buy in bulk are things like cereal, crackers, granola bars, soft drinks, juice, canned goods and other non-perishables. Things that can be frozen like milk, bread, and meats are perfectly fine to buy on sale and then you just freeze them till you need them.
6 Keep an Eye on the Time
I hear this all the time: “Go to the grocery store when you don’t have a lot of time. That way you won’t be able to shop around and spend more time and money in there.” I’m sorry but I have a totally different opinion on this! Go to the store when you have MORE time on your hands, that way you can take your time to find the best price, and you won’t grab the first thing you see and toss it in the cart. You can also make sure you buy everything you need for the week in order to avoid mad dashes to the store on the weekend for coffee or eggs.
7 Don’t Take Your Kids
If you’ve ever gone shopping with kids, you already know what I’m about to say! They will ask for everything in the store and you may eventually give in to quiet them down. Not to mention you may feel so frustrated that you finally just throw some things in the cart and leave the store without half of what you actually needed and without any money left to spare. I understand that it’s not possible to shop alone all the time if you have small children, but do try it when you can.
8 Be Practical
Think outside the box! Buy canned fruit instead of fresh to make pies with. Use powdered milk in place of regular milk in your cakes and biscuits and gravies. Substitute melted butter for oil in cookies. Cook with frozen vegetables rather than fresh. Don’t throw out leftovers! Reuse them in a pot of soup or a casserole. Stretch your dollar to its limit!
Grocery shopping can be a breeze if you can apply these little known but important tips! You can save a lot of money if you use a little practical thinking and some smart know-how! What are your favorite grocery shopping tips?
Top Photo Credit: Soupfender Shots
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