Trimming the excess fat from your budget is not as challenging as you might think. Although you may have little control over your mortgage or day care costs, you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars every year on groceries, utility bills, cell phone charges, dental care, prescriptions, a new car or computer, bank fees, seasonal merchandise (holiday decorations, etc.), insurance, taxes, small and major appliances, transportation costs, and much more. This article teaches you 25 proven ways to save money on groceries.
1. Don’t waste dish detergent. It’s not going to get your pots and pans any cleaner. Instead, invest in a quality scrubbing brush.
2. Eat a banana every day. Add it to your oatmeal or enjoy it as a snack. Bananas are nutritious and economical.
3. Buy coffee in the 28-35 ounce can when it goes on sale. You can pay as little as $5.99 for a 30 ounce can of brand-name coffee at the sale price. Why pay as much as $5.49 for a 12 ounce can at the regular price?
4. Over the past couple of years, peanuts have dramatically increased in price. Always buy them on sale and in bulk.
5. Onions are one of the cheapest and healthiest vegetables. Add them to salads, stews, chili, pasta dishes, and seafood. You can buy a 3 pound bag of yellow onions for as little as $1.99.
6. Cook a simple and economical meal like soup or stew at least once a week.
7. You can buy Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith, Braeburn, Cameo, Red, and Delicious apples for as little as 99 cents a pound when they are in season.
8. Over 24 million Americans suffer from some type of eating disorder. If you are eating too much white flour, white sugar, and saturated animal fat, changing your dietary habits could also lower your grocery bill over time. For example, a 10 ounce package of potato chips costs as much as $4.49. On the other hand, a pound of bananas costs as little as 39 cents.
9. If you’ve been eating out more than twice a week, consider eating out once every two weeks or even once a month. You will appreciate eating out more and you will also be amazed at how much money you can save. Now which is more important? Building up your emergency savings or spending $75 a week on take-out pizza and pepperoni rolls?
10. Use meat as an “accent” and save money every time. Homestead.com points out: “In the typical U.S. diet, a pound of meat serves four because meat is an American luxury, but in Latin or Oriental cooking, a pound of meat will serve eight or ten. Oriental cooking in particular uses meat as an accent, and I think you’ll find, as we do, that you’ll even feel better after a meal that makes heavy use of grains accented by small bits of meat as opposed to a plate covered by a slab of steak or roast. Again, besides saving money, you’re saving your health.”
11. Join over 6 million consumers who print free grocery coupons at Coupon Mom. You can save money on hundreds of products.
12. Avoid traps like “Buy one and get one 50% off.” You’re only saving 25% on both items.
13. Here is another reason why you should read your supermarket’s weekly circular: Some grocery stores put high-priced merchandise that isn’t on sale in front of the store or at the end of aisles. They try to trick you into buying it at the regular price.
14. Many supermarkets feature unadvertised specials especially in the meat and produce departments. Keep an eye out for these pleasant surprises.
15. Some supermarkets also mark down meat and bakery goods that are about to expire. Buy and freeze them for later use.
16. Avoid making last-minute impulse buys (magazines, tabloids, candy, gum, etc.) while in the checkout line.
17. Don’t be fooled by “2 for $5” or “10 for $10” advertised specials. The supermarket is only tricking you into buying more.
18. Many supermarkets have special clearance areas. You can find terrific markdowns on everything from olive oil to cake mixes.
19. Swap unused manufacturer’s coupons with friends, family members, co-workers, and neighbors.
20. From time to time, certain grocery items have “instantly-redeemable” manufacturer’s coupons attached to them. Examples include household cleaners, laundry stain remover, spray starch, skin care products, vitamins, and mouthwash.
Combining advertised specials with “instantly-redeemable” coupons is another excellent way to save money at the grocery store. What’s even better is when your supermarket doubles the face value of the coupons.
Here is an example of how well this strategy works:
At Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle®, the regular price for an 18 oz. bottle of brand-name mouthwash is $4.99.
One week, the mouthwash was marked down to “buy one, get one free.”
Each bottle also had a 55¢ manufacturer’s coupon attached to it.
If you bought two bottles of mouthwash at the regular price, you would have paid $9.98.
If you bought two bottles at the sale price ($4.98), and had two 55¢ manufacturer’s coupons doubled ($2.20), you would have paid $2.78. That’s a savings of $7.20, or 72%.
21. Always look at the unit price (price per ounce or pound). Sometimes the larger size isn’t the most economical.
22. Use instant and mail-in rebates whenever possible. Whether the amount is $2.00 or $20.00, don’t lose another minute and claim your free money.
23. Find lower-cost alternatives to expensive items. For example, buy chicken breasts instead of pricey ground sirloin.
24. Recycle old meals. Homestead.com reveals that “Monday’s Casserole and Tuesday’s Roast can become Wednesday’s stew with a little stock and some seasonings. Likewise a large piece of meat can be stretched a lot further, as well as be more tasty and healthy if you use it in several different dishes with many bite-sized morsels.”
25. Try to go grocery shopping alone. Your “little helpers” might persuade you to buy items you don’t need or want.
This article has taught you 25 proven ways to save money on your grocery bill. To live fiscally fit, you must write down every cent you spend. “Every cent” includes the $150 gas bill you paid yesterday as well as the $6.99 roast beef sandwich you bought today. Every week or so, go over your list of expenses and decide which ones can be reduced or eliminated. You will have money left over at the end of the month and will not be burdened with trying to make ends meet.