Monday, November 26, 2007

Save Money On Your Grocery Bill

With grocery prices on the rise everyone seems to be looking for ways to save money on groceries. The most obvious way is to use coupons. A word of caution about coupons; only use a coupon if it something that you were originally planning on buying! Using a coupon to get a few cents off something that is just going to sit on your shelf and never be used is not really saving you money. And believe it or not sometimes even with your coupon the store brand just might be cheaper.

Does this mean that you shouldn't use coupons? No! Just do your homework. Know what it is you need to buy and pour through the sale ads. I have used many a coupon on an item on sale at a store that offers double coupons and ended up saving a lot.

Now a word about store brands--there really is nothing wrong with buying store brand. Most times you can't tell the difference between the store brand and the name brand. I urge you the next time you are at the store compare the ingredients in the name brand to the store brand, you will be surprised that most times the ingredients are the same! Why is the name brand then more expensive than the store brand? Advertising. Yes, when you purchase a name brand you are paying for the advertisement of that product.

Always plan your shopping trip. This is so important, especially with the rise in gas prices. Know which stores have the items you need on sale, or if not on sale, which store is cheaper. Also, don't travel all the way across town just to buy one item to save 10 cents. The time and money spent on gas is not worth it.

Always go with a grocery list in hand!!! This one step either breaks or makes our food budget. If I run to the store to just pick up a few things with out a list I come home with a lot more stuff and a lot less money!

What goes on your grocery list? First off, things that you need or have run out of. I keep one of those cheap magnetic pads on my refrigerator and as I run out of things or notice something getting low I write it on the pad. Voila, instant start to your grocery list.

Second, it's easier to make a grocery list if you have a menu plan. Know what you meals you are going to make that week and write down what ingredients you will need. I tried to plan out what meal we would eat on which day and found that didn't work for us. What I found works for us is to just write down the meal on a piece of paper and hang it on the refrigerator, when I fix a meal I cross it off. This gives me more choices and I don't feel so locked into a rigid schedule. So, find out what works for you and do it!

Only buy the amount that your family can use before it goes bad. If you buy something in bulk because you couldn't beat the price and half of it ends up going bad you really haven't saved anything. You've actually ended up throwing away money.

There are many more ideas out there, as these are just a few tips to get you started.

Happy deal hunting!

1 comment:

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