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Save on Groceries
I know that saving on groceries sometimes seems impossible.
And like it's more work than it's worth.
But I promise, you can easily save with a few simple strategies, and could literally slash your grocery bill by $100 or more. It can take as little as 30 minutes each week to prepare for, but saving $100 in 30 minutes make your hourly rate $200 per hour.
Not too shabby, right? 🙂
Here are the strategies I use every single week to save on my groceries, even when I'm short on time.
1. Make a menu plan and grocery list. (15 minutes)
I love Eat at Home Cooks Menu Plan and grocery list, and she even has a slow cooker option and whole foods choices available. You can also make your own menu plan, but doing this one step alone will save you as much as $50 each week ~ so worth it for the 15 minutes in time it takes! (Her plans start at just $1.15 per week or make your own for free. So worth the little bit of time investment it takes!)
2. Shop Your Pantry. (3 minutes)
Before heading to the store, shop your pantry, fridge and freezer to see what you already have at home and cross those items off your list. (Easy, right?)
3. Check your store's sales ad for loss leaders. (3 minutes)
Prior to heading to the grocery store, always take a peek at your store's local ad to see what their “loss leaders” are. Loss leaders are deeply discounted sale items that the store offers to convince you to walk in the store (so they'll take a “loss” on that item.) Have your stock up price list in hand, so you're guaranteed that the big sale item your store is telling you about really is a big sale.
Curious what's on sale at your local stores? Go HERE to see a complete list of stores sales ads AND coupons that match up with the weekly sales ad at your favorite store.
4. Print high value coupons before you leave home. (3 minutes)
Take just 3 minutes to check out this week's best printable coupons and see if any are on items you regularly buy anyways. Print them out right before you go, and make sure to check your store for digital coupons as well before you shop.
4. When you shop, don't be brand specific. (3 minutes)
If you need a certain item for a meal this week, buy whichever brand is on sale at the best price per ounce. For example, ifDel Monte tomatoes are “on sale” for $1.25 this week, but the store brand is 73¢, go with the store brand. From what I can tell, tomatoes are tomatoes (at least when you’re choosing between Kroger and Del Monte), and there’s no way my family will have any idea whether I use the Del Monte or Kroger brand in our recipes this week.
Now, there are some items which a certain brand really does seem better, but if you can give yourself a little freedom to try out the less expensive item, you might save quite a few pennies each week just for going with the sale item! And, if you really do love your Charmin or Quilted Northern (toilet paper seems to be one of those areas where people love their brands?) watch Amazon or the drug stores for a really good deal.
5. Watch for easy coupon & savings deals at your regular grocery store and double check your list. (3 minutes)
Always watch for items on sale throughout the store, especially if your store offers digital coupons. While you're shopping, keep your eyes peeled for items that are deeply discounted, and load digital coupons that match up with those sales if your store offers digital savings.
Recently I noticed orange juice was on sale for $1.49 at our store, so even though we had some in the fridge I grabbed it because I knew that was a great price. And I always watch for deep discounts on things like shampoo, toothpaste, and personal care items, because some weeks those items are deeply discounted. It takes just a few extra minutes to walk down those aisles, but can save a bundle when I take the time to do it!
And, while you're at it, always, always, ALWAYS double check your list one last time before you leave the store. While you may not want to walk back for one more thing, it will save you the time of making an extra trip, and is so worth it. There's nothing worse than getting home and realizing you're missing that one extra ingredient, so be sure to double check that list before you check out!
BONUS TIP: If time allows, shop 2 stores.
Folks, this is huge and I know may not work for everyone, but is well worth it for our family. I typically shop Kroger each week for major sales and loss leaders, but also make a trip to Fresh Thyme (or a similar store) for meat and produce at least every other week, saving our family a bundle.
If you have an Aldi, Fresh Thyme, Sprouts, or even possibly Trader Joe’s in your area, I highly recommend a trip once a week (or at least every two weeks), to stock up on meat and produce.
Their sale prices are significantly lower than anything I’ve seen at local grocery stores (unless your grocery store has a rockstar sale), and it’s pretty easy to get in and out in a few minutes. I don’t shop anything else at those stores at all (really, only produce and meat), but it saves a bundle and is well worth the extra trip at least every other week for our family!