I asked some friends to think of ways to save money at the grocery. Here is what one of them came up with...
1. Eat before you shop! When you are hungry, you may buy on impulse.
2. Shop the perimeter of the store. Why? Here you will find the healthier, fresher foods. Breads, fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products are usually stored around the perimeter of the store. Aisles are usually where you will find the processed and junk foods
3. Make a list! Check the sale ad and make a food list based on sale items and stick to your list! Only buy what is on the list, how many times do you go into the store to get 3 items and come out with many more!
4. Plan out meals! Use your food list to plan out meals in advance. Make sure you take inventory of what you already have at home that you can use in meals to prevent overbuying of the same item.
5. Sales! Watch the sale ads, and buy healthy foods that you will eat while they are on sale. Find a great deal on chicken? Buy on sale and freeze for later. Find a sale on bread? Remember, you can freeze it!
6. Speaking of freezing. Buy frozen fruits and veggies. The budget experts online say that can often times be ½ the cost of fresh and are still nutritious. They are also precut and prewashed which saves time!
7. For a quick weeknight meal idea, cook up your on sale chicken in the crock pot, shred, and use throughout the week for meals, or freeze in portion sized bags for later meals. You can make soups, tacos, and more, and quick!
8. Clip clip clip coupons! Organize them based on the store aisles. Match the coupons with the sale ads to save even more. Remember, just because you have a coupon does not mean you are getting the best deal. Sometimes, store brand products will still be cheaper! Find coupons in Sunday papers and online.
9. Unit pricing! Watch and compare unit pricing. Check the price tag, each tag will have a unit price. Buy the product at the least expensive unit price, at the amount that you will use.
10. Try the switch! Try to switch from brand names to store or generic names, on many of the products you may not even know the difference! First time trying this? At first, start with products such as rice, pasta, eggs, and cheese.
11. Eat in! Try to limit how much you go out to eat. In the mornings, eat breakfast and make coffee at home. Pack your lunches at work. Limit how much you go out to eat at dinner. Most of the time, you can save ½ or more of what you would in a restaurant just by eating in. And, you are able to control what ingredients go into your meals, more than likely making this a healthier option too!
12. Be a smart shopper! Watch for mistakes at the checkout lines. Make sure that sale items do ring up on sale. Always double check your receipt and your change. And, know how many coupons you will be using and make sure that each of the coupons scanned correctly. Do not hesitate to ask questions! You could cost yourself money if you do not ask questions! At some grocery stores, if your item is incorrectly scanned, they will give you the purchase price plus half back.