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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Moneysaving Tips for the Grocery Store

Tips to Save Money at the Grocery Store

Going grocery shopping can be a painful experience for your wallet these days. Rising gas prices have caused the cost of food to skyrocket while paychecks have either remained the same or been reduced. So how can you save money and feel the pinch a little less at the grocery store? This article will give you some hints to help you spend less and save more.

The first thing you need to understand is there has to be a trade off. In order to save money you need to be willing to give up the convenience of processed foods. Yes, in a world of working parents, kids and activities getting dinner on the table is a chore even with convenience foods. But those foods also cost the most. This brings us to tip #1.

Tip #1. Cook from scratch. Do not buy dinners in a box. They cost a fortune and are full of unhealthy ingredients. Consider making your own hamburger helper for example. This is a better option since it is cheaper and you know all the ingredients in it. Other things you can make from scratch are  taco seasoning, rice seasoning, and sloppy joe mix just to name a few. This can save you quite a bit when you start adding up the cost of all those mixes. Mix a big batch and store in an airtight container.

Tip #2. Make weekly trips to the grocery store instead of going when you need to. Extra trips to the store can add up. Going weekly can also cut down on produce waste. Just buy what you will use for the week. By not overbuying you will not throw away spoiled produce which saves money.

Tip #3. To help keep you organized create a monthly meal planner. This will save you time and energy. It does not need to be extravagant either. Just fill it out with your family’s favorite meals and keep it handy. It will make planning your weekly grocery visits easier if you know exactly what you will be making.

Tip #4. Stock up on meat when it goes on sale. Usually sales are repeated every 6 weeks so you can plan your meals around the sales and stock up your freezer.

Tip #5. Try freezer cooking. This is where you take a day and make, for example. 4 meatloaves, a bag of meatballs, marinate chicken and steak in individual bags, cook a lasagna, etc… and stick them in your freezer. If you do not have time try starting a group with your friends. You can all agree to make dinners for the exchange (make sure you are all cooking something different so everyone does not make spaghetti) If 4 friends participate, make enough for 4 dinners. Meet up and exchange. Wallah! You have dinner for a week.

Tip #6. Shop at Marc's. I usually buy my toiletries there along with Tylenol, etc... and I save a lot of money weekly.

Tip #7.  Replace one meal a week with a vegetarian dinner. Try using beans or pasta in a new recipe. There are plenty of sites on the internet to get simple, frugal recipes from.

Tip #8. Have a leftover night. Once a week before your grocery shopping day, pull all the leftovers and let family members choose what they want. This cuts down on leftovers being thrown away which costs you money.

Tip #9. Budget a weekly amount. This may sound obvious but many people do not follow a budget and are amazed at how much they actually spend when they add up their trips to the grocery store.

Tip #10. Bring a calculator. This ensures that you are keeping track of your spending and there is not shock at the cash register when the cashier gives you your total.

Tip #11. Self checkout. Going through the self checkout makes you accountable and keeps you on track for your budget. Scan all essentials first such as meat and produce. Next scan wants. When you reach your budgeted amount give the cart to the front end cashier and they can put it away for you. Just tell them you changed your mind about buying the items.

Tip #12. Buy bulk only when you will use it. Do not buy bulk just for the sake of buying bulk. They may seem like great deals but you need to weigh just how much that jumbo bag of marshmallows will cost you. If you do not use marshmallows that much it may be wiser and more cost effective to go with a smaller bag.

Hopefully these tips will help ease the pain when grocery shopping and keep your money in your wallet where it belongs. Good luck and happy shopping!

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