How to save on groceries…
Even the most experienced couponer can have trouble saving money on groceries! Food coupons are not as common as non-food coupons, and are often a much smaller value. But, there are things you can do to save money on grocery shopping.
Tip #1 – Have a Plan
Go through all the ads and look at what is on sale and make a list of the things you want to purchase. If you are planning on using coupons, matchup the sale items to your coupons and have them ready to go. Put the coupons you know you want to use together, so you don’t have to hunt as you go.
Tip #2 – Plan Around The Sales
Meal planning is nice, but can lead to pricey purchases if you plan meals and then go shopping. Instead, shop the sales and make your menu around that! If chicken is on sale that week go with your chicken recipes. Ham on clearance from the holidays? Plan around that, it only takes a few minutes to research some recipes that will go with what’s on sale.
Tip #3 – Check Unit Prices
I have a Sam’s Club card but I always check unit prices. You should too! Just because the box is bigger doesn’t always mean it’s cheaper. Even at the local grocery store you will often find the bigger bottle is a penny or two more than the smaller one.
Tip #4 – Buy In Bulk
Sometime it can pay to buy in bulk! Things like, rice, beans and pasta are good examples. If you have a small family ask another family to share your purchase with and you both save. Sugar, flour and baking supplies are often much cheaper in bulk as well.
Tip #5 – Learn What Things Cost
One of the best ways to save is learn the average cost of things. If you know hamburger runs $2.99 when not on sale, then you know $1.49 per lb. is an excellent price. If you shop specific stores you’ll want to learn what their typical prices are for things you purchase frequently.
Tip #6 – Stock Up On A Good Sale
I hear all the time about not clearing the shelves when there’s a good sale. If you see a fantastic deal on something you buy all the time, such as toilet paper, definitely buy what you will use over time. Stores restock during a sale and buy extra if it’s a hot sale. Things like pasta, chips or cookies can be frozen to keep longer.
Tip # 7 – Look For Mark Down Items
The first thing I do when I go into a grocery store for any reason is walk the perimeter. I look for marked down produce first, and then I move on to the meats. Ask your store if they have a certain time of the week they mark down meat, don’t be shy! You can score BIG savings this way!! If you won’t use all the meat right away, don’t be afraid to pop it into a Ziploc bag and freeze it.