Friday, December 17, 2010

Frugal Friday: Saving at the Store

I don't know about you, but I have slowly noticed the prices going up at the grocery store. I diligently try to cut costs where I can by making meals at home, putting on a sweater instead of turning up the heat, and taking shorter showers (what used to take me a half hour now takes me 10-15!) Today I am sharing my tips for more frugal grocery shopping.

1. Make a list and check it twice!
When I go grocery shopping I like to make a list of the things that I am going to need. Then I take a look at the sales fliers and plan my attack.
 
Then I like to group items together by isle, so that I don't have to keep weaving in and out of isles trying to get what is on my list or forget something entirely. This helps get in and out of the store in less time, which cuts down on impulse buys.

2. Get a bonus card
Does your store have a shoppers, bonus, or gas club? If so you can save a lot of money. This entitles you to lower prices on sales and other products. Some programs offer a free turkey during the holidays in addition to their regular discounts. I recently saved 30 cents a gallon on a fill up with my gas card through my local grocery store!

3. Clip your coupons!
I will never forget the time that my mom saved 100.00 off her bill by using coupons. I personally don't get a paper to get coupons, so my mother-in-law gives me hers. The trick with coupons is to remember to bring them to the store. I have to say I forget like 90% of the time.

4. Buy what you are going to use
You are not saving money if you end up throwing it away! Make sure you only buy what you know that you are going to use.

5. Shop at more than one store and visit the farmer's market
It make take you a little more time, but the savings really add up. I like to get my produce from the farmers market, my dried goods from walmart, and my meats from my local market.

I recently bought enough food, cleaning products, etc. to last us one month for about 150.00. I will have to pick up perishables like milk and produce, but $37 a week for 2 people isn't bad, and that was without coupons.

If you are worried about the gas you will use traveling, if you are part of a gas club it pays for itself plus some!

6. Buy less processed food
More often than not, you can make a comparable portion at home for a cheaper price. The food is also better for you, and tastes better. Know you are working late next week and want to avoid the drive thru? Make a double portion of a dinner and freeze it. Your family will enjoy it, you'll save money, and your body will thank you.

7. Remember bigger isn't always better
Sometimes items cost more in bulk stores, so be sure that you are aware of what things cost.


8.Check ingredients

The goal is to get more nutrition for your dollar.

I was recently looking at cereals and noticed the malt-o meal bagged cereals. The cost was less then the brand I was used to getting, there was more cereal, but I wanted to check out how much garbage there was in the product. It turned out the cheaper item, had fewer ingredients- all of which were not cooked up in a lab.


I was in the natural and organic isle of a grocery store looking for natural and organic noodle bowls. I flipped the product over, and discovered that it was full of artificial ingredients! The product had a hefty price tag, and wasn't so natural after all!


9. Check the dates
No one likes to spend their time planning, clipping, shopping only to discover the products that they got go bad tomorrow.


10. Manage your emotions
If you are sad, hungry, or stressed out the worst place you can go is the grocery store. Before you know it you will have chocolate cupcakes, doughnuts, a bag of chips and 2 energy drinks in your cart that you didn't intend to buy.


What ways do you save? What is the most you have ever saved at the grocery store?

Joy

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