Tips For Smart Grocery Shopping
Grocery shopping is something we all have to do at one time or another, whether we want to or not. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming and expensive. However, with a little planning and a good shopping strategy, you can minimize your grocery bill and get the best possible value for your money every time you go to the grocery store. Read on for some tips to stretch your grocery shopping dollars as far as possible while still serving your family food that is both healthy and delicious.
Have a Plan
Read you local grocery stores weekly ads. Plan your meals in advance based on what's on sale. When you see an item you need on sale, check the Internet to see if you can find a coupon for the item. Then, go shopping on double coupon day and you may get the item for next to nothing!
If you see something on sale which your family uses on a regular basis, consider buying extra while the item is on sale. (This only helps if the item is non-perishable. You won't save any money if you stock up on something which may go bad and have to throw half of it into the trash!)
Bring a Calculator
Bring a calculator with you when shopping. This will allow you to calculate the price per serving enabling you to determine which package is the best value. It will also help you keep track of how much you are spending, keeping you within your budget.
Coupons are a great way to save money, and today they can be found online for almost anything you need. If you go on your stores double coupon day, you can save even more money.
Be careful, though. Don't buy something you wont use just because you have a coupon for it. If a generic product is priced less even when taking the coupon into account, you may want to go with it instead.
Do You Use Coupons?
Look Up and Down
Look around for what you need. Many times, stores put the most expensive items at eye level. Look up or down and you may find another brand which is just as good, but less expensive. Also, pay attention to the number of servings. Sometimes,one brand will contain less than another brand in a similar sized package. Read the lables to find out exactly how much you are getting.
Are You Hungry?
Are you hungry? If so, then don't go grocery shopping. You tend to spend more money if you are hungry buying impulse items. The stores will have all kinds of tasty treats positioned just where you can see them in order to tempt you.
Also, try and shop alone whenever possible. Shopping with kids or your spouse can distract you, causing you to spend more.
Ask your grocery store if the will match their competitors prices. Many stores will if you just ask them. Also, ask if your favorite store has a rewards program and, if they do, sign up. It's a great way to save even more money.
Cut Your Own Vegetables
Cut and prepare your own vegetables. This is much cheaper than buying produce the store has already cut up for you.
This is also true for shredded cheese and pre-cut meats. A few minutes of work on your part can save you many dollars throughout the year.
Buy bagged cereal rather than boxed cereal. Bagged or bulk cereals cost less than cereal in a fancy box. Simply invest in a good storage container and these cereals will stay fresh just as long as the boxed versions.
Generic or store brands are usually just as good as name brand foods. They are also less expensive than the better known brands and your family will never know the difference!
Pay Attention at Checkout
When you are checking out, pay attention. Watch to make sure everything is ringing up at the correct price and sure you are given credit for all of your coupons. Cashiers are busy and may not notice if something doesn't ring up at the correct price. Don't hesitate to speak up if you spot a mistake.
Take A Rain Check
Many stores will issue rain checks for sale items which are sold out. Don't hesitate to ask your store manager if they have a rain check policy.