With ever increasing gas prices, almost every item in the supermarket has become significantly more expensive over the past couple of years and many people are having a real struggle trying to feed their families. If you’re looking to save more money at the supermarket, then you might consider some of the following tips.
1. Always go to the supermarket with a list of necessities. Try to avoid items not on your list, especially junk food.
2. Eat before you go to the market. Research shows that if you grocery shop while you’re hungry, you will spend more money on items you would not otherwise have purchased.
3. Clip coupons from your local newspaper or look for them on the Internet. I know this is a bother, but it can save you a lot of money. Look for a grocery store in your area that will double coupons, even if you have to drive a few miles more than usual. Also, try matching coupons with items already on sale.
4. Check the grocery ads in the newspaper while you make your shopping list. If you don’t take the newspaper, then you will find that most major grocery stores now publish their weekly ads on the Internet. Look for items that are buy one get one free or at a significant discount.
5. Try the store brand instead of the more expensive national brand. In most stores, there is a satisfaction guarantee that will allow you to get your money back or get the national brand at no additional charge if you purchase the store brand and are not satisfied. In many cases, the store brand is actually made by the exact same company as the national brand.
6. For those in a serious crunch, there are certain food staples that are very inexpensive and will go a long way. Look for good buys on flour, rice, sugar, bags of fresh potatoes, boxes of dry pasta, ground beef, whole turkeys, whole chicken fryers, chicken leg quarters, beans, peanut butter, large bags of breakfast cereal, oats, large bags of frozen vegetables, bags of apples, and ramen noodles. Fortunately, most of these items can be prepared in dozens of ways.
7. Wal-Mart and dollar stores typically carry plastic containers of spices that range in price from $0.50 to $1.00. I’ve found that I can’t tell the difference between the cheaper spices and the national brand spices that cost five or ten times as much.
8. Go to your local library and look in the cookbook section. Most libraries have dozens of cookbooks loaded with inexpensive recipes that are very simple to prepare.
9. Prepare large portions for dinner and save the left-overs in freezer/microwave safe containers for lunches.
10. Instead of purchasing expensive bottled sodas, try powdered mixes such as kool-aid, lemonade, gatorade, crystal light, hot cocoa, and spiced cider.
11. Only buy quantities that you are certain will be consumed in a reasonable period of time. For example, if you buy the 10 lb bag of potatoes, but only eat 3 lbs before they spoil, then it would be cheaper to buy a smaller bag. Another option would be to buy the larger package, but go ahead and prepare dishes using the potatoes that can be frozen for later use.
12. Avoid last minute purchases at the check-out. All those little items are placed there by the grocery store for a reason. Grocery stores know that you will be spending time waiting in line, so they place high profit items there to tempt you.
13. Go to the customer service department at your local grocery store and ask if they have any coupons that they can give you. You would be surprised at how many times the customer service clerks have handed me coupons to get items for free.
14. Look for internet surveys related to food items. Many of these will mail you coupons or free samples.