If you are trying to get out of debt then learn how to save on groceries. The USDA puts the average monthly cost of food at $150 – $300 per person. That is assuming that you are eating at home and cooking your own meals. They don’t take into account that you might eat out from time to time. Now that you know what the USDA thinks what do you think? My thought is that it’s a great source to guide us to keep that number as low as we can by learning how to save on groceries. Here is part 1 of a 2 part series.
Coupons are an advertisers way of getting you to buy their products. Now that you know the truth use coupons only to save not to be sucked in. Besides, millionaires use coupons to save money too. If they use them maybe we should too.
Look for Sales
If you look for sales you will learn how to save on groceries immediately. There is no sense in paying for food that isn’t on sale. Why? Because chances are you can find a less expensive substitue for that item. Doing so will accomplish 2 things. It will feed you and help you to save money.
Match Sales to Coupons
Are we just supposed to take the coupons to the store when we cut them out and buy the things that we have a coupon for? Absolutely not. That is what stores want you to do so you can spend money at their store. Match sales to coupons to avoid that trap. Here is a great site to do the matching.
Sometimes you can find bargains in the larger size items and sometimes the smaller ones give you more bang for your buck. If you want to learn how to save on groceries then do a price to size comparison. There are apps that help you do this now. Check one out here.
Like size checking, buying in bulk sometimes brings a HUGE savings. The only thing you need to ask yourself is do you need 100 roles of toilet paper or 500 oz of ketchup. Some items in bulk might be worth it and others might be a bit out of your reach.
Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers promote potion control for controlling weight. However, you can use portion control to learn how to save on groceries. The less you eat the more you save. Plus, controlling your weight might be a huge plus if that is on your radar.
Don’t Waste Food
Portion control is one thing but wasting food is another. I find that we as Americans love to eat big meals. Usually our eyes are bigger than our stomach which might add up to a lot of extra food. Sometimes that extra food goes to waste. The bottom line is wasted food is wasted money.
Plan Meals Ahead
If you plan your meals for the week you can strategize what to make and what to eat. This form of discipline can add up to a big savings if you plan your meals. It will also help control your portion and you will find that you won’t waste food.
Sign Up for Loyalty Cards
Loyalty cards give huge discounts if you shop for what you need. You just have to be careful. The whole idea behind the loyalty card is to get you to shop beyond the discount the store offers during the week. If you control your shopping, loyalty cards will teach you how to save on groceries.
Skip Fast Food Temptation
Fast food temptation is big. There are ads displayed on every commercial, every billboard and every radio station. No matter how much healthier fast food has gotten over the years it isn’t good for you. Besides every time you eat fast food you let your groceries lose a day of freshness.
Cook at Home
Cooking at home can save you hundreds of dollars each year on your grocery bill. It’s a way to eat a healthy meal and you can control portion size which is mentioned above. The idea behind cooking at home is learning to maintain a discipline lifestyle which will help you learn how to save on groceries.
Avoid Eating Out
Eating out is expensive. I should know. I live in NYC. A night out for 2 can run a hefty $50 to $100 depending on where you go. No one is saying you shouldn’t have a night out once in a while but avoid eating out to save save save.
Generic brands are sometimes just as good as name brands. Warning it is not a fool proof way though. There are some generic brands that don’t reach the bar of perfection. Do your homework and buy the generic brands that are of great value.
Remember the idea of not wasting food? Well stretching the leftovers will help you learn how to save on groceries. Besides sometimes leftovers are more delicious than the day they were cooked. Now if that isn’t a delicious reason to stretch your leftovers I don’t know what is.
Cook for the Week
Cooking for the entire week can bring your costs way down. Again it helps you control your size and what you prepare. In addition to that, once you cook for the week you don’t have to cook for another 7 days. That gives you plenty of time to enjoy many other things with your extra free time.
I used to work at a soup kitchen. Let me say that I saw many types of people eat there. For the most part the needy eat there. However, not everyone that ate there was needy. There were poor people and not so poor people there. There was even a gentleman who had his masters degree.
Stick to the Shopping List
Write out a shopping list and stick to it. If you start impulse shopping after you decide on what you want you will surely see your savings start to dwindle. Store owners are trained to make you spend your money. You are training on how to save on groceries. Stick to the shopping list.
There are outlet stores that sell bread, cheese and everything else under the sun at a discount. It’s a great way to stack up and save money. Especially if you have a big family. Here is a website to help you find a store in your area.
Don’t Buy Out of Season Produce
Out of season produce is expensive. Let’s think about it for a minute. If it’s out of season that means they have to find a way to get the product to you during the off season. Their technique in doing so is what you are paying for.
Package Lunch Snacks
Have you ever seen those lunch snacks in the grocery store? They aren’t there just for your convenience. They are there so you can spend more money. Don’t get me wrong I love convenience but if you need to learn how to save on groceries pack your own snack.
Eat Then Eat Out
Let’s face it you are going to have to eat out once in a while. Not doing so would be no fun but if you eat a bit before you eat out you will control your desires while you are out. Plus you can save some money that way too. It might not help your grocery bill much but your wallet will thank me later.
Use a Price Book
A price book is a powerful tool for tracking prices, products and sales items. You’ll always know when a bargain is truly a bargain if you use a price book. For each grocery item you buy, a price book shows you a target price and sets out sales cycles for products you buy regularly.
Check All Receipts
Check your receipts. Let me say that again. Check your receipts. If you want to learn how to save on groceries then check your receipts. Ok I said it 3 times. Here comes 4. Checking your receipt will help you see exactly where your money is going. It’s a great way to control your spending. If you need to control spending here is a great place to start.
Use Your Own Shopping Bags
Have you ever seen the shopping bags in the super market? They are designed to package and hold a lot of items. Sounds like bringing your own shopping bag will help you control how much food you buy. Plus it’s great for the environment too.
Shop on a Full Stomach
Shop on a full stomach so you don’t over buy. If you are hungry your hunger will try to convince you to buy things you don’t want or need. If you shop on a full stomach you can think with a clear head which will help you to save money on that grocery bill.
There You Have It. 25 Ways on How to Save on Groceries. Stay Tuned for Part 2.