Grocery shopping… the task that everyone loves to hate. For some reason though, I love it! Maybe it is because it is associated with my favorite topic f all time ( food) or maybe there is something about the sound of the grocery cart going down the aisles that is calming to my soul. In any case, I have written many posts on grocery shopping over the years and have come up with 10 Steps that will cut your grocery bill in half.
1. Don’t Be So Loyal- I am not saying that everyone does not have their favorites. But, exclusively shopping at one store all the time will cost you savings. The same is true when it comes to brand loyalty. I have my favorite brands of everything from peanut butter to diapers, but that does not mean that I will not switch it up every now and again. New brands come out all the time and technology is always changing. So, it’s a good idea to see what the competition is doing. They really want your business! They will even pay you (by offering coupons) to give them a try.
2. Look at the Unit Price- Seldomly do I grocery shop anymore without looking at unit prices. It’s like being a part of a secret society that is not a secret. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen grocery stores duping customers into buying a product with fancy signs and marketing strategies. If you always compare units prices though, you won’t be fooled. The secret is out!
3. Use Coupons- This is a no-brainer right? But, you will not believe how many people I know that just don’t use them. People that actually want to save more money on their groceries. I think that there is a great misconception about couponing that exists. Some of it has to do with TV programming but a lot of it just has to do with lack of education about the process.
4. Make the Ultimate Coupon Organizer- Couponing can really be a waste of time. Yes. You read right. Couponing can really be waste of time if you don’t organize them. The lack of a valuable couponing system will single-handily thwart all of your efforts. So if you still don’t have a coupon organizer, learn how to make one here. It’s quick and simple.
5. Utilize Circulars and Clearances- The three C’s that are paramount to saving money in the grocery store are coupons, clearances and circulars. Going grocery shopping with looking through a circular or sale paper is like going grocery shopping with a blind fold on. Also, it’s one the most important ways to save more money at the grocery store.
6. Skip Time Savers and other Convenience Foods- If you really want to cut your grocery store bill in half then, I have to tell you…convenience is not your friend. If it is already shredded, diced, peeled, cooked, shopped, baked or portioned out for you, then you will pay more for it and that’s the bottom line. I am not saying that you should not buy any “convenience foods” liked bagged lettuce or snack sized apple sauce but, I want to equip you with the right tools so that you can make the best choices for your family where it really matters….and that’s the key!
7. Stock Up- One of the keys to saving more money at the grocery store is shopping when you don’t need to. I am not saying be compulsive about it but, I am saying to stock up. The best time to buy your family’s favorite peanut butter, toothpaste and other heavily utilized times in your home is when you don’t need it. There is an art form to stocking up without becoming a hoarder about it.
8. Beware of the Bogus BOGO- If you are one of those people who rush to the grocery store once you see a Buy One Get One (BOGO) free deal then you may be getting duped. Not every deal is worth taking advantage of. There are tricks that grocery stores use to reel you in and you not even be aware. Fancy signs and packaging may be screaming a deal, when it really isn’t. So, beware of the Bogus BOGO.
9. Coupons Are Not as Important as You Think- In the grand scheme of it all, coupons may not be as important as you think. There are other things like seasonality of produce and fat and sodium content that should weigh heavily on what you put in your cart.
10. Always Use a Grocery List-Making a grocery list before you go a the grocery store is like having a map or blueprint with you. If you don’t take on with you, then you are likely to get lost and distracted by all the distractions that grocery stores have. Not only will you more than money than you intended, you will end up eating more calories as well. If you don’t already have a grocery store template that you use, just email me and I will send you mine. No problem at all.
11. Wrap it Up- A simple trick for saving money on produce at the grocery store is wrapping it in paper towel before you put refrigerated produce items in the fridge. Items like greens and herbs will last twice as long by just following this simple step.
12. Meal Plan- How do you know where you are going if you don’t have a plan? That pretty much goes for anything in life right? The same is true for your grocery budget. In order to truly maximize your grocery budget and your groceries you have to develop a meal plan. A family without one will waste time and money trying to figure out what to eat everyday. I mean you can write a pretty good grocery list, but then what happens when you go home? You will probably squander time searching the fridge, hoping the meal ideas will hit you in the face. When they don’t, the nearest fast food joint will be delivering food to your home several times a week. Eventually, some of the food in the fridge will go bad and then you will think that setting a grocery budget is a “waste of time”. But, that is so far from the truth. You just did not set up a plan and that is like setting yourself up to fail. There is no one way to create a meal plan and no “one size fits all approach”. It’s Meal Thyme has services available for people in the Washington DC metro area that want to learn to meal plan and for people who don’t have time to do it themselves…we can do it for you. It’s that important.
13. Dress For Success- There is something about dressing well that just permeates one’s very being and spirit. Not only will people treat you differently (in a positive way), but you will be feel different about yourself. You will shop more confidently and perhaps even more efficiently. The very essence of your grocery shopping experience will change. That is one of the reasons that I created Grocery Store Glam. It’s a quick and easy way to add some glamour to your grocery store shopping experience even if you just feel like just wearing a sweatshirt and some jeans.
So what about you? How do you save money at the grocery store?
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