Money is really tight for us these days, and sadly, the grocery budget is the only bill that is flexible enough to suffer the most. I mean, we have to pay the light bill, gas, etc. Once the bills are met, what’s left is the grocery “budget”, and unfortunately, it is far lower than it should be for a family of 4.
It is no secret that the economy is affecting families. So, if you are having it tight right now, and need to cut your grocery bill, the following 5 tips are sure to be helpful no matter how large or small your grocery budget is!
There are always ways to save money on groceries!
Grocery Saving Tips
1. Plan every trip and try not to go on “unplanned” days. It will take time the first time, but once you get a system going, you won’t have to spend so much time on this phase. Create a comprehensive list of all that you will need. This means going through kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Use this as a master list. A second list will be for items that you use more frequently like milk, bread, eggs, toilet paper and paper towels. More money will be spent on these items because, well, you need them more.
2. Read the ads. Compare sale prices on the items you use when the papers come out each week. Circle where you will buy each item from. Some think that it is not worth it to drive to several grocery stores but it depends on how you chart your trip and what amount you are saving. Also use your store discount card for additional savings on these items. To get the most benefit from a store deal, buy up to your maximum allowed by the store.
3. Clip coupons and participate in store incentives. It used to be that you could just clip a few coupons and then use them at the store. Today, it’s an art form. You can use newspaper coupons in combination with store savings card offerings. Also, don’t forget about online coupons. There are coupon services that offer manufacturer’s coupons that you can print and take to the store. Be careful though. Some stores are making it harder to use certain discount combinations after the airing of shows like “Extreme Couponing.” But, the effort is worth it if you need to cut costs.
Note to Publix Shoppers: Publix now offers digital coupons that you can “clip” on their site, and then all you need to do is put in your phone number at checkout, and whatever you “clipped” that is available with your purchase will come out automatically. This is a great help to me, and I do not have to worry about “remembering” my coupon!
4. Buy in bulk. We did an experiment a few years ago. We joined Costco to see if we could save money. The answer was a resounding YES! Once we saw that it would work for us, we joined the “executive” program, and earn money back each year. It is usually enough to pay for our membership each year! So, we basically get a free membership! Note: Even regular grocery stores have bulk aisles where you can buy what you need in greater quantity.
5. Visit other stores. Do you have a local dollar store or even a Family Dollar? Most of them sell food. It is a good place to buy dried spices, juices and dry ingredients. It is also a great place to buy non food items, house cleaners, paper goods, etc. There are countless, affordable treasures awaiting you at your local dollar tree!
With a bit of creative thinking, a determined mindset, and diligence, you can save money on your grocery shopping budget.
Do you have money saving tips for your fellow grocery shopping moms out there?? Please share them in a comment below!