- Personal Finance»
- Frugal Living»
- Household Expenses
How to Lower Your Grocery Bill
Save Money on Groceries!
Stick to the Grocery List
Walking down the aisles at the grocery store can be very tempting to buy every sale item you think is a “good deal”. Eat a snack before going to the grocery store, or better yet- take one with you! If you are not hungry while shopping, chances are better that you will feel comfortable sticking to the list.
Each week sit down with your favorite cook book and an inventory of what ingredients you already have and plan out your meals. If you have something in your cupboard about to expire, then find a recipe that includes that ingredient! Plan out down to each meal and snack you or your whole family will eat. For instance each day you should include Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snacks.
Make a list.
Your grocery list should only include ingredients used to make your meals or your snack items. Before you make your list, know what you already have in your kitchen.
Vegetarian Night - Money Saving Meals
This may be something you do once a week to cut costs of meat, or something a few times a week, but it will cut your grocery bill quickly! Beans are a very low cost ingredient and add all of the protein your body needs to your meal. Compared to over $3 a lb for beef, a can of beans can cost as low as 75 cents. One example is vegetarian tacos- you can substitute the meat for lentils or pinto beans and just add your favorite taco seasonings to the prepared beans! Did you know that most professionals suggest cutting your red meat intake to just one serving per week?
Portion, Portion, Portion
Most people do not realize they eat way too much of something and not enough of others. Most of the time, especially Americans, eat about double the recommended portion size for a piece of meat or dessert, thankfully these are usually your more expensive items compared to your fruits and vegetables which should be a bigger portion of your meals.
Skip the prepackaged goods and snacks
These items that are prepackaged are extremely overpriced. Do not buy pre sliced fruit and vegetables, smaller packaged cookies, chips, or crackers, or any of those tempting individually wrapped high fatty foods. These are all items that can be easily separated into individual bags yourself.
There are grocery stores that will offer to match a price on a particular product if you can demonstrate that product is cheaper at another location. This is wonderful for the sale-savvy shopper, who knows where to get the cheapest goods!
Check it out: if milk is on sale at Store A and there is a wonderful sale on several items at Store B, then simply take the catalog, coupon, etc from Store A to Store B and as you are checking out, share the item price difference and they can simply change the price to fit!
This saves you time driving and money on gas. Plus, it isn't very much fun to visit store after store. (For most of us that is).
Ugly Produce and Meats
One neat trick to save money on your grocery bill is to visit your grocery store produce section and see what they are looking to get rid of. Say there was a whole bin of green peppers but now there are a handful of pitiful looking little guys. Find the produce manager and begin negotiating.
This method takes some bravery, but you will find that a manager would rather sale those leftover peppers for something rather than toss them for nothing. Same goes for old breads, meats, etc.
Also, make sure you need the items before you go buying them all. The goal here is to save money, not spend money on items you wouldn't generally buy!
Once you get the hang of this and grow brave in approaching who you need to, you will actually develop a relationship with managers and then will gladly look to you when they have things they want to get off their hands!
The sad thing is that tons of foods get thrown away because of appearance, while they are perfectly delicious.
Some grocery chains offer points which then offer deals on other items. For instance, one grocery chain offers 0.10 cents off of their gas per gallon once you accumulate a certain amount! While it isn't the biggest money saver, it is unnecessary on their part and a nice little perk for you.
FInd out what grocers have these types of deals and save money on those groceries!