10 Tips to Save Money on Grocery Shopping
There is no one big secret to saving money on groceries. And although there are some people who live by coupons, who will not buy a single item for which they have not found a coupon, most of us don’t have the time or inclination to go to such an extreme. Saving money on grocery shopping comes down to doing it smarter. Planning meals ahead of time and thinking strategically when you shop can significantly reduce your food bill.
Doing what seem like minor things can help in this effort. Going to the stores that consistently offer the lowest prices on the items you buy, stocking up on certain goods when they’re offered at a discount, and avoiding name-brand products are some of the many ways you can save.
Kiplinger has a very informative article on this subject. It provides 10 tips on how to shave dollars and cents from your grocery bill without cutting out coupons or taking other time-consuming measures.
I found this tip especially enlightening:
The next time you go to the grocery store, hang on to your receipt and circle the most expensive items. Then, consider lower-cost alternatives for those items to rack up real savings on future shopping trips. For instance, red meat isn’t cheap. The average price per pound of sirloin steak is twice as much as the price per pound of boneless chicken breasts, according to the most recent figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Other budget-busters are organic items and pricey cheeses. But you can lower the cost of these items if you comparison shop, opt for generic brands, buy produce only when it’s in season and become more selective about the items you put in your cart. For example, consider buying organic only for produce that is most susceptible to pesticide residue (see the Environmental Working Group’s list of the dirty dozen). As for the fancy cheese, consider it a treat and buy it sparingly.
You can read the nine other tips here. I like to think of myself as a smart shopper, but I learned a great deal from the article. It offers guidance on how to get into good shopping habits.
One other thing: The advice given in this article should be taken in moderation. There are certain products, beer and wine for example, in which brand names do matter. You may decide it’s worth spending the extra money to enjoy a taste that you find to be exceptionally good. If so, it makes it even more urgent for you to save as much as you can on your other groceries.
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About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.