Saturday, January 16, 2010

50 Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill

  1. Use an envelope system for grocery money.  Only use the cash from the envelope.  When its gone its gone. This makes me really think and plan for my purchases.
  2. Use both manufacturer and store coupons together.  This can often make the item free.
  3. Plan your meals in advance.
  4. If you use a rebate, fill it out and send it in as soon as you get home from the store.
  5. Cook from scratch.
  6. Use your food storage.
  7. Keep a running list of items on your fridge (I use my grocery list)
  8. Shop at the Farmer's Market (in season)
  9. Buy multiple copies of the Sunday paper for the coupons.
  10. Use what is in your freezer.
  11. Use your store loyalty card.
  12. Buy a deep freeze.
  13. Plant a garden.
  14. Learn your store's sale cycle (usually it rotates every 3 months)
  15. Check the store's website for printable coupons.
  16. When making a meal, make double, and freeze the rest for another meal.
  17. Quickly check your fridge, freezer, cupboards and pantry before heading out the door.
  18. Never shop hungry.  
  19. Go alone if possible.  When my kids and/or husband come, we end up getting more than planned. 
  20. Stock up when things are on sale.  If it is deeply discounted, buy a year supply.
  21. Plan your trip through the store.  Do not go back to the section once you have left.
  22. Shop the perimeter.
  23. Buy non-grocery items at different store (Wal-mart, Target, Dollar-Tree etc)
  24. Don't forget your list!!!
  25. Watch for instant coupons that are on the product.
  26. Watch for the coupons that the store has by the product.  Often times they are flashing/blinking.
  27. Buy in bulk when you will use that amount.  However, some sale prices are much better than the bulk price at the warehouse stores.
  28. Get rain checks if the store is out of the advertised product.
  29. Price match if your store allows.
  30. Don't waste leftovers.  Have a leftover night once a week.
  31. Shop from the weekly ads.
  32. Have a budget.  Stick to it.
  33. Watch for pricing errors on your receipt.  One time at Wal-mart, I bought 20 cans of Mandarin oranges because they were supposed to be .33 cents per can.  They rang up at 5.00 per can!!!
  34. Check unit pricing between brands.
  35. Bring a calculator.
  36. Eat produce that is in season.
  37. Visit multiple stores if they are close, to get the best deals.
  38. Watch for any "double coupon" days or promotions.
  39. Use store brands.  I have found many store brand items that I prefer to the expensive name brand.
  40. Drink more water, and less soda.  
  41. Don't be afraid of the "reduced for quick sale" stickers.  One local grocery store puts out all fresh meat daily.  If any meat is not sold that day, it gets a sticker.  I recently got 93% lean ground beef for $1.29 per pound that way.  I bought them out, and froze it all.
  42. Check for any internet coupons for the name brand items on your list.  You can find an alphabetized list of all coupons online ( and other coupon sites).
  43. Don't dismiss stores like Walgreens and Rite-Aid for groceries.  They often have sales combined with "register rewards" etc.  My favorite cereal that is normally $4 per box was just on sale at Walgreens for $1.33 per box (plus I got register rewards used like cash), so they were almost free.
  44. Be familiar with regular prices so you will know when you see a good deal.
  45. Be disciplined.  As with any part of saving money, it is 20% knowledge and 80% doing.
  46. Break your list down by store, and plan your outing accordingly.
  47. Make fewer, larger trips. 
  48. Avoid prepared entrees.
  49. Watch for shrinking packaging.  Many brands keep the same price, but the package is smaller. Be aware.
  50. Remember, grocery shopping is one of the few budget categories that is flexible and is often the most gone over. 

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