by Harriet Bond
(San Francisco, CA, USA)
Even in great economical times, it’s a good idea to watch your money, but these days, it’s a necessity. Groceries are usually one of the highest costs in the budget, but this is also the most flexible area of spending. After all, your mortgage isn’t going to suddenly drop by but you can save a lot of money simply by making a few changes to the way you shop.
1. Make a list. The majority of people who walk into a grocery store for milk end u p buying 3-5 extra items That really adds up, even if they are only a couple of dollars each. To curb this very bad habit, make a list before you go to the store and stick to it. No extras, not even if they’re on sale. It takes discipline to do this, but in the end you’ll save hundreds of dollars.
2. Become a coupon hunter. You can easily find coupons online for just about any product you want to buy. This means there is really no excuse not to use them. If you’re embarrassed, don’t be… everyone needs to be frugal nowadays To make your coupons go further, look for specials at the stores where you shop. Some supermarkets have Double Coupon Day where your coupons are worth twice as much. If you can also pick up something on sale, it’s possible to get some of your grocery items for just pennies!
3 Shop in season. It’s nice to have apples in December, but they will be far more expensive at that time of year because they are out of season and have to be imported or grown in specially heated greenhouses. Instead, opt for fruit and veggies that are in season and you’ll save a bundle.
4. Compare prices. It’s worth doing some price checks at various supermarkets and stores around your town every 3 months or so. You might be surprised to find that hamburger meat is $1 cheaper per pound at one store while broccoli is half price at another. Of course, you’ll need to weigh in the gas cost to go from store to store, but it might just be worth it to split your list in order to save some money.
5. Buy bulk. Costco and stores like it are rapidly becoming very popular because they sell huge packages of grocery items at a lower cost. If you have storage space, you can buy bulk and have enough toothpaste for the next year, saving a considerable amount of money. If you don’t have space, consider going in with a friend and splitting a case of bleach rather than trying to store it all yourself.
There are opportunities to save money on your groceries everywhere you look. The problem is that most people are still reluctant to make the move toward being more frugal, but now is the perfect time to get your feet wet. Start making changes to how you buy and you’ll save a lot of cash.