Monday, October 31, 2011

How to Save Money on Groceries

Grocery shopping is a regular practice in many homes and takes up quite a chunk of a family’s budget. It is usually a delicate balance. Trying to get all the required groceries seems crucial, but there may never be enough money. However, with the following tips, you could cut your grocery shopping bills by up to 60 per cent. This can be achieved through a combination of several steps as described below.

1. Have a Plan
Before venturing to the grocery store or the mall, always plan ahead and make firm decisions regarding what is required. This prevents purchase of items already at home. Planning also ensures that only what is required is purchased. Some shoppers tend to purchase whatever they come across and end up spending a whole lot more than was initially intended.

2.  Do Your Homework
There are many grocery stores that sell similar items at different prices. It is prudent that before making any purchases or before embarking on a grocery shopping spree, thorough homework is done to find the cheapest locations selling the grocery items on the list.

3. Get Healthy
According to a study conducted in 2002 in the US and published in the journal of American Dietetic Association, healthy diets can save families money. Healthy foods and diets enable consumers to lose weight, feel full and start consuming less.

4. Stick to a Budget
Shoppers should always prepare a budget for their grocery shopping. The budget comes complete with a shopping list. Once the shopping gets underway, the list should be strictly adhered to. Even if kids start demanding items not on the list, strict adherence should be enforced.

5. Coupon!

Shoppers should look for and collect as many discount vouchers and shopping coupons as they possibly could. There are thousands of these contained in magazines, at shopping mall counters and also come with the mail. Shopping coupons have been known to reduce a shopping list cost by up to 67 per cent. Using coupons presents great savings opportunities. Some coupons may have a discount on items already on offer or up for sale. This provides a double opportunity for savings.

6. Waste Not, Want Not
A great way to reduce waste and save money is to not throw away leftovers. Rather than bin the remains of last evening’s dinner, store them up using suitable storage bags and put them away nicely in the refrigerator. These leftovers can be warmed up the following day and served for lunch or snacks. Rather than spend extra money buying snacks, leftovers can do that just as well.

When buying seasoning or other ingredients for a recipe, try to find frozen or dried, rather than fresh. Fresh is always expensive whereas frozen or dried is much cheaper, lasts much longer yet brings the same results. Frozen foods are great as only the required amount is used while the rest is packed up and stacked back in the freezer.

Tammy Barnett likes to write about shopping, cook & Find Coupons at Frugal Dad.