Considering the endless bevy of tips on the web on how to save at the supermarket, I figured I'd share my grocery-buying strategies for keeping our food spending under control as well. This combined with how we save on organic food, means we are buying quality food at reasonable prices. Plus, it means we have more money to spend on higher quality and expensive items, too. Everyone loves a special meal now and again, right?
Do you struggle with keeping your food budget under control? Between eating out and convenience foods, packaged snacks and late-night cravings, feeding a family can add up in a hurry. Here are ten ways to cut your grocery bill while still eating well.
1. Plan a Menu
Start by planning a menu. Not only will you spend less eating out, but you'll be able to use what's in your fridge, cupboards and pantry and build on it, making your shopping list smaller and cheaper.
2. Bulk Buying
Single-serve school snacks may seem convenient and easy, but a large box of crackers that you portion out over time in reusable containers is more economical, not to mention more environmentally friendly.
Related: 10 ways to maximize your couponing experience
3. Browse the Ads Online
Check your local stores weekly deals online before heading out. Use your knowledge of what's on sale to help you plan your menu. Knowing what's on sale will keep you from impulse buying because you already have your list mapped out for the store.
4. Combine Coupons and Specials
Check online coupon databases to see what coupons are available and combine them with the online ads to get the best deals on the items you need for your menu.
5. Avoid the Urge to Splurge
With a menu, the circular and the coupons all planned out, you'll already be avoiding the wary nary desire to throw this and that into the cart, but also make sure you're going to the grocery store on a full belly. Standing in an aisle full of food with a growling stomach is sure to tempt you to grab a bag of cookies or a box of donuts at the store. Try shopping after a meal or eat a snack before you go to stave off any hunger-fueled purchases.
6. Don't Limit Yourself to One Store
My family shops at three different stores for different products and for different reasons. If I were to shop at any one of the three, I wouldn't be able to buy the amount of food as I do. It's common for stores to give price breaks in one area and jack up prices in another to make profit. Knowing which stores have the lowest prices on your everyday items can save you money because you'll know X, Y and Z are cheaper at Store A and avoid spending extra cash on them while you're shopping at Store B.
7. Talk to Employees
By chatting with the guy behind the meat counter, you could find out which days meat is marked down. The produce employee may offer up what days they put their overripe bananas on a price-cut, making it a great time to stock up for smoothies. Take a minute to get to know the people in your store, even if it's a large chain, to see what information they're willing to share with you.
- By Ole and Shaina Olmanson
Follow Ole and Shaina at Babble
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