More Frugal Grocery Shopping
For many families, groceries represent a large expense in the monthly budget. The amount you spend each month on groceries can vary widely, and so cutting back on grocery expenses can go a long way in helping you meet your budget. Here are some tips for frugal grocery shopping.
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1. Make a menu and stick with it.
Some careful planning can enable you to make the most of your groceries and avoid waste. Often food can go to waste if it is not used quickly or if you only use a small portion of it for one recipe and let the rest spoil. If you plan a menu for food for the week, however, you can avoid wasting food (and therefore your money). Choose meals several days in a row that will use leftover ingredients. Before going to the grocery store, make a list of all the ingredients you will need for the meals you will make for the week. When you are at the store, stick to your list. Avoid grabbing “deals” sitting on the ends of aisles which may look appealing but which you probably don’t need.
2. Shop your pantry first.
When making your weekly menu, check your pantry to see what food you have available. Plan meals that will make the most of your leftovers. Using food you already have will reduce waste and cut your grocery bill.
3. Don’t shop on an empty stomach.
One of the cardinal rules of frugal grocery shopping is to never do it on an empty stomach. Shopping hungry will make you more likely to buy on impulse. Also do not shop with family members who tend to buy on impulse. If you have trouble with impulse buying, however, remember to stick to your list or bring a family member who will keep you on track.
4. Use coupons.
Coupons can save you a lot of money, provided that they are for products you intend to buy anyway. Read the newspaper regularly and save coupons that you can use. Take advantage of sales when planning your weekly menu and incorporate discounted grocery items into your meals. However, do not let coupons persuade you to purchase products that you do not need. After all, even spending a discounted amount on an unnecessary grocery item will not save you money! Look online for coupons as well, as these are published more regularly than coupons in newspapers.Image Credit: yanyanyanyanyan, Flickr