by Dee Marie
Saving money on groceries is something most all of us swear we're going to do, then shake our heads in frustration when we watch our grocery bill climb week after week. A lot of this is due to the fact that we have the idea that saving money on groceries is just too difficult or that it will just magically happen.
The truth is that it is actually very easy to save money on groceries. All it usually takes is a little planning and attention. To get you started, here are 10 ways to save money on groceries.
1. Make a budget. Without an idea of how much money you can really afford to spend on groceries, it's easy to overspend. So know before you head for the grocery store how much you can reasonably afford.
2. Use cash. After you've looked at your budget, take only the amount of money you've set aside to spend on your groceries. Having a set amount of cash on you will ensure you don't go over your budget. It will also help you curb impulse spending or splurging on expensive brands or unnecessary items.
3. Shop alone. This is sometimes easier said than done, especially for mothers with preschool age children. Still, shopping alone means that you're less likely to buy items that you don't need or brands that are more expensive than your budget allows for because you alone are in charge of what goes into the grocery cart!
4. Take a list. Never go into the grocery store without at list! That's like inviting the enemy into your living room. Without a list to keep you on track with what you need, you will likely forget some needed groceries, substituting impulse buys in their place.
5. Shop on a full stomach. Always try to do your grocery shopping after a full meal, rather than when you're hungry. Faced with all those glorious foods when you're hungry is practically a guarantee that you'll overspend and splurge on groceries that you don't really need.
6. Clip coupons. Coupons can save you anywhere from a few cents to major dollars, depending on how many and how often you use them. Just remember, it's not enough to clip them, you need to carry them with you! They won't do you any good stuck in a drawer at home, so invest in a coupon holder and keep it with you at all times. Also, try to plan to go grocery shopping when your local grocery stores are having double coupon days. This will allow you to save twice as much. Also, if you don't get a newspaper, you can still find plenty of online coupons to print out and use at your local grocery stores by simple doing a search on the internet.
7. Buy in bulk. Many grocery items such as paper goods, beans, rice, etc., are much less expensive when you buy them in bulk. Have a place in your pantry where you can store bulk purchases so that it's easier for you to take advantage of sales that will allow you to save big when purchasing in bulk.
8. Can you say superstores? There's a reason Costco and Sam's Clubs are a major hit--their prices are hard to beat anywhere. Paying for a membership card to stores such as Costco are often paid for with your first trip.
9. Hit your local Farmer's Market. Most areas have a Farmer's Market where you can buy fresh produce at amazing prices. Not only do you save money when you do this, you help support your community. Generally, these are open from spring through fall, though some are open year-round, so take advantage of them whenever possible.
10. Surf for deals. As with everything these days, the Internet provides you with a multitude of places to buy grocery items at huge savings. You will want to make sure that any grocery items you purchase online are guaranteed to be delivered fresh and that there's a good return policy if something goes wrong. Still, the Web is a wonderful place to buy all sorts of grocery items, everything from coffee to paper towels, at great savings, so be sure to check it out!
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