Food prices have risen 10% in the last YEAR alone! You can’t go the the grocery store without spending $100 or more on food. There are some basic things you can do to save money.
1. Shop the perimeter of the store. Most of the things we normally need and the fresh foods are on the out side isles.
People tend to go counter clockwise in a store and save the frozen foods (except frozen meat) for last. Dairy is usually at the far end of the store so you have to walk past all the impulse items to get the eggs or milk you actually went to the store for.
Also note that the most expensive items are at eye level, except for children’s items which are on their eye level. The products at the end of the aisles are generally not on sale.
2. Plan your meals by what’s on sale – Every store has a flier or website that lists the store specials for the week. You should check your store’s specials before you plan your week’s meals and if chicken is on sale, plan a couple of meals with chicken in it.
3. Always shop with a list – after you plan your meals, make a list and try to organize the list by where in the store the items are to be more efficient with your time.
4. Look through your pantry, freezer and refrigerator and list the ingredients you already have that fit into your meal plan. This is a good time to start keeping track of staples in your pantry and freezer. Attach a notebook to your pantry or freezer and make a list of items as you use them up. Check the lists before you shop and you’ll never unexpectedly run out of anything. Check our earlier posts on how to stock your pantry , refrigerator and freezer.
5. Shop with coupons. Granted, not everything you like to eat will have a coupon offered for it, but you’ll be amazed at how much you can save with a little organization. My wife Darlene checks the paper on Sunday and the websites before she shops and she is now saving $30-$50 on a $200 purchase. That’s good money. Check our title bar menu for a new “Store Coupons” category I will soon be adding.
6. Never ever shop when you are hungry. Try not to shop when you are tired or in a hurry either. And don’t take your kids shopping if you can avoid it. Kids are the target of all of those low riding impulse buys.
7. At the store look for in store specials and any fliers or coupons you may have missed earlier. When comparing items on the shelf look at the “unit price” label to determine which is the best deal. Try buying the generic, store label, products. Most of the time they are the same product, packaged by the same manufacture as the name brand items. The prices are lower because there are no advertising dollars associated with the label. Did you know that you can ask for a rain check if the store is out of an advertised special. Try asking even if the ad says limited quantities.
I will start posting current coupon location or websites and I’ll list pictures of various store layouts. – Jughandle