If grocery bills are taking too large a portion of your monthly budget, there are some effective steps you can take in order to save money without skimping on the quality of foods you enjoy or feeling deprived. Keeping these tips in mind when you shop for grocery items can mean some extra pounds in your pocket at the end of every month.
Make it a point to never go to the supermarket when you are hungry or have an empty stomach. Your willpower will be at its lowest point and you are likely to wind up making quite a few spontaneous purchases. It’s also important to review what’s in your pantry at home and make up a list prior to grocery shopping so that you don’t buy extra products of something you already have purchased a few weeks earlier and need to use. Don’t purchase the first item you see on the shelf but take the time to compare prices from among two or three competing brands. Try the lowest price generic brand at least once to see if it meets with your approval because the most expensive brand isn’t necessarily the one that tastes better.
Purchase as many fresh foods in season as possible to create your daily menus rather than buying packaged and processed foods. Not only are fresh foods a better value for your money because they are higher in nutrition, you can avoid eating high levels of salt and chemicals used in processing today’s packaged foods. Compare the price of a packaged salad with a head of lettuce and a whole tomato to create your own and you’ll often see that you are paying more for the convenience of the packaged product.
Find out which issue of the local newspaper offers a coupon supplement, then get out your scissors and start clipping. Coupon-happy grocery shoppers have proven that you can save anywhere from 10% to 50% off your grocery bill by using money-off coupons to defray the cost of every product you purchase. If you use an item on a regular basis, buy it just once a month in bulk and parcel it out throughout the month.
Shoppers can save on grocery bills by preparing at least one vegan meal each week that uses beans, eggs or tofu rather than more costly meats and poultry. If you have a green thumb, considering saving money by planting an herb and vegetable garden to grow some of your own foods rather than buying them all at the grocery store.
Image credit: Moyan Brenn