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Cutting Costs Of Groceries While Still Eating Well

Cutting Costs Of Groceries While Still Eating Well

When families try to save money, they usually turn to cutting discretionary spending first. No more dinners out, nights at the movie theater or shopping sprees at the mall. However, most overlook a potential source of significant savings: the grocery bill. Slashing the food budget sounds like a painful task for those in the most extreme poverty, but there are many ways to cut costs and still eat well.

  1. Know if it’s really a deal. Don’t be fooled by big, bright sales flags and pictures in ads. Being “on sale” doesn’t mean it’s the best price you can find for the item. Stores can mark an item down less than a dime from its original price and call it a sale. The smart shopper’s solution is to keep a price book. Record the usual and the best prices you paid for items you buy often and compare each so-called sale to those numbers. Also pay attention to how often stores offer these best prices. You want to buy enough to last until the next sale but not so much that you store it forever.
  2. Buy in bulk ONLY what you can use. Buying in bulk isn’t such a deal if you wasted half of the jumbo size container you buy, so buying everything in bulk doesn’t always lead to savings. The best items to buy in bulk are canned foods and dry goods like flour, sugar and rice, for example. Bulk ketchup, not so much.
  3. how you can cut grocery bills and eat wellAsk your local grocer how the store deals with items nearing their expiration dates. You may be able to buy many products at a discount because these dates reflect a very conservative estimate of the shelf life of the product. Many bakeries will sell day-old bread and other goods as well, and you can freeze any extra above what your family will eat fresh.
  4. Coupons. You don’t have to take this step to the extreme to save money. Savings can be as simple as going online to a few great sites like RedPlum, SmartSource and Coupons.com. Become familiar with the coupon policy at the stores where you shop. Some stores offer double coupon specials on certain days. If the store allows, you can get great deals by combining manufacturers’ coupons with store specials. However, some may not accept internet coupons or have other specific limiting policies, so to keep it simple, know the policy before you shop.
  5. Store brands can offer great savings on basic items because you don’t pay for a name, but if you are brand loyal, you have options for saving as well. Most brands have Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and email lists to share news, promotions, special offers and coupons with loyal fans.
  6. A few quick hints: More expensive items are usually placed on shelves at eye level while the lower-priced counterparts occupy the highest and lowest shelves. Beware the items conveniently displayed near the checkout; travel sized items and candy at inflated prices are there to tempt you.
  7. Lastly, be alert at checkout. Cashiers have a monotonous job and even the best make mistakes. If something doesn’t add up right, speak up.

You can save money on groceries without resorting to ramen. With these secrets to savings, you can keep your fridge, your stomach and your wallet full.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • katherine urbano June 20, 2013, 1:25 am

    I think people or often misled by grocery selling tactics like this is on sale etc.etc. but I think people should look for a long term solution to cut their grocery bills in more than half is by planting their own food in a small piece of lot beside or on their backyard. If they dont have a space try using plant boxes that can be stacked atop one another (be creative to maximize the space) or in to pots where you can plant common herbs used for cooking. This will ensure the quality of the food and it can become a bonding time for the family. With chemicals such as soaps, try to make your own detergents and other cleaning chemicals. Always research for alternatives. Dont be too dependent with what we can buy from the store. Look how much can you save.

  • happyflowerlady June 20, 2013, 11:45 pm

    I have noticed that some stores, (Kroger for one) offer a price rite guarantee ,and if they overcharge you, you get the item for free. I always go through my grocery receipt after I have checked out, and if I find a mistake, I head right for customer service to get it corrected, and maybe for free, if they have the guarantee.
    I also look for stores that mark down fresh produce when it gets close to the expiration date, and if you are picky, you can often buy good bread, veggies, and even meat and dairy products for up to half off. This is usually done midweek, so they can restock for the weekend shoppers.
    If you are a Senior, most stores have a Senior Discount Day. I don’t save a lot with that , but every little bit helps.

  • kim June 23, 2013, 3:38 pm

    Great article and so right. Around 6 months ago we realized we were spending too much on groceries. We started shopping at Walmart for our basic foods, like pasta, milk, cereal, lunch snacks and found it made a big difference in the price we paid. Trying different store brands instead of name brands introduced us to great tasting foods at a lower price.

    We will buy bulk detergents, pasta and canned vegetables but everything else, with a shorter shelf, life we avoid.

    In our house coupons as often as possible and only for things we need. If it’s for something we don’t usually buy I won’t bother with it. I belong to a couple coupon websites and follow some brands I really like on Twitter and Facebook. Occasionally they send coupons for free products I use, which is great.

  • professionaltightwad June 30, 2013, 6:58 pm

    One of the biggest tips to saving money on groceries is to stop being brand loyal. Just because your mom always used a certain detergent does not mean it’s the best one out there or that others won’t clean your clothes just as well. If you’re hesitant to buy a different brand, just buy one and try it. You may just find a new favorite at half the price or at least, have multiple brands that you’re willing to use.


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