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10 Tips to Save Money When Grocery Shopping

-- 2010-12-16 10:00 am --

The cost of groceries can eat into a well planned budget. You can make save money at the grocery store using these tips.

1. Make a list. Look at the store advertisements to see what the weekly specials are as you plan meals. The special deals are listed on the front page of the ad. Grocers call them loss leaders because they may not make any money on these items. They get you into the store. Go to several different stores to buy the special items.

2. Limit the amount of prepared or packaged food. The outside aisles of the grocery store contain the fresh ingredients such as meat, produce and dairy. The inside aisles are where most of the packaged food is found. Try to buy most of your food from the outside aisles.

3. Calculate the serving price or per ounce cost when comparing prices. The bigger package is not always the best deal.

4. Have a price list for items that you buy frequently. That way you know when a sale represents a good value and you can stock up at the sale price.

5. Buy store brands, especially for basics like flour or butter. Only buy a more expensive brand if you find a noticeable difference in the taste or performance of certain products.

6. Go to the store well fed. If you shop on an empty stomach you buy more. If you are hungry you’ll be tempted to buy more than you need.

7. Coupons are often for items that are prepared or packaged. If you wouldn’t buy it without the coupon then don’t buy it even with the coupon savings. Manufacturers’ are hoping you will develop a taste for their product at full price.

8. Learn to cook the basics. When you are confident that you can make your own biscuits or chili you won’t need to buy them in the store. When you shop you will be buying basic ingredients which are much cheaper, healthier and taste better.

9. Plan for some nonmeat meals. Try some Indian recipes or use eggs to make omelets for dinner. Meat can be expensive. Vegetables, beans, rice and eggs are great values for the money.

10. Buy food that you can make into snacks. Vegetables can be cut up and stored in the fridge for crunch snacks. Make a batch of homemade cookies or cut up fruit.