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Easy Ways to Save Money on Groceries

June 18, 2012

You go to the grocery store with good intentions. You have a list, you have a limited amount of time in the store and a goal of staying under $60. Yet it always seems you get in a hurry and it’s $100 before you get out of the store! Ack!!

Saving money does start with lists, but be specific. If you’re planning menus and getting ingredients your list will be different than if you’re stocking up. For example, if you’re getting a “normal” week you might have 2-3 cans of soup, but if soup in on sale and you have extra funds to stock the pantry you might get a couple dozen cans!

We have a rule to never shop when hungry. Going in hungry means more junk food and more money. I’ve found it’s cheaper to get a fast food snack and appease the hunger *then* go shopping. A $4 meal can save $20 in unnecessary purchases!

When you get in the store with your list, start in the ‘healthy’ areas. If you have an empty cart you “need” to fill it – potatoes, produce etc is a better aisle to hit than the chips or cookies! The items filling the cart signal the brain you’re not going to go hungry.

If you’re just grabbing a few things don’t use a cart – if it’s more than you can carry in your hands, or small items, use a basket. This “limits” what you ‘can’ get.

Be aware of the sale tactics. Recently I saw some clothing on sale for 25-50% off – $8 for a skirt was a good deal. Now those same clothes are “buy two get one free” – increasing the sales but that same skirt is (average) $10 each. Still that might be a good idea if you *need* and can afford three of them! Food sales do the same. Watch the “limit 12” – if you only need 3-4 then you don’t need to buy 10 just because there’s a limit!

Avoid anything on the impulse racks – those areas right by the register where you ‘reason’ that extra dollar or two isn’t a big deal.

Watch unit pricing. The largest volume cans and packages are not always the cheapest – pay attention to get the best value. If you can use that 10 pounds of leg quarters it’s worth the 79 cents per pound, and you can (at home) break it up into meal sized packages. Don’t ignore the possibility of the other item that may be cheaper for two medium sized packages than one large one.

Pennies and dimes add up…dollars add up. If you can save just $1 per day on meals that’s over $350 you can set aside to do something else with!


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