Saving Money on Groceries

Food is one of life's basic necessities, but it can also be one of your household's biggest expenses. If groceries are eating up a large percentage of your budget, consider cutting your costs to save money for decorating that family fun room. Setting a goal to spend less money on food may also encourage you to develop more nutritious eating habits. Since processed and prepared meals and snacks are more expensive than fresh foods as well as higher in calories and sodium, you may end up with a healthier diet when you trim your grocery bills.

Collecting Coupons

Many single homeowners and parents save money on groceries by using coupons. To use coupons effectively, save these discounts for groceries that you actually need rather than applying them to snacks or treats. If you're using a coupon to buy a product that you wouldn't ordinarily buy and that doesn't add any nutritional value to your diet, it's not a good saving strategy. Look for coupons on basic food staples, like dairy products, meat and poultry, produce, bread or cereal.

Once you set a goal to find coupons, you'll realize that they're available in a wide variety of sources. You can find coupons in weekly mailers from your local supermarkets, in newspapers, magazines or in fliers. You don't have to spend hours searching for discounts; these deals and specials are widely advertised. When you find a useful coupon, keep it in an envelope that you take to the grocery store each week.

These days you can find a wealth of coupons online. Look for reliable online coupon sites, and check the privacy policy before you enter any personal information. Online coupons can be printed from your home computer, but your local grocery store may not necessarily honor all of the internet coupons you find. Instead of making a special trip to use an online coupon, keep printed coupons in your coupon file so that you'll have them on hand for your shopping trips.

Frugal Shopping Strategies

Frugal grocery shoppers try to limit their shopping trips to once a week in order to cut their costs. The more frequently you visit the grocery store, the more likely you are to have high grocery bills. By planning your meals a week in advance and shopping weekly, you may reduce your gas expenses as well as your grocery bills.

The supermarket you choose can make a big difference in the cost of groceries. Look for the store that offers the most affordable prices in your community, and do most of your shopping there. National discount stores often have lower prices than small, local grocers. Compare grocery bills from the stores where you shop most frequently to find the market that gives you the most value for your money.

When you're in the grocery store, stick to the outer aisles to reduce your costs. Grocery stores are laid out to draw shoppers' attention to the most expensive items. Dairy products, meat, produce and bread are likely to be located around the edges of the store, while processed snacks, condiments, candy, coffee and other more expensive foods are likely to be in the center aisles. When you're buying prepared foods, shop for store brands or generic products instead of expensive name brands.

Saving money on groceries will leave you with more cash left over for home improvements, family vacations, new clothing or other important expenses. Before you shop, make sure you've had a meal or snack so that you won't be tempted to buy more food than you need. Combine grocery shopping with an inexpensive family outing by visiting a local farmer's market on the weekends.

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