Saving Money on Groceries +

Where does most of your money go? The mortgage or rent? Many think of those expenses first, groceries forgotten. However, the monthly cost of groceries can equal that of a mortgage–at least for those who don’t watch their grocery dollars. According to the USDA, a two to four-person family who spends freely on groceries dishes out $992 to $1158 per month on food. More thrifty families, however, spend a modest $332 to $447 per month. Thus, families who don’t try to save money on groceries spend almost two-thirds more than their cost-conscious counterparts.

If you’re feeling motivated to save hundreds of dollars in groceries, follow these tips:

DO eat wholesome foods such as vegetables and fruits. They are much less expensive than “junk” foods such as snack cakes and potato chips. Just compare the cost of carrots to that of brand name packaged cupcakes sometime. Also, buying healthful foods will not only mean spending less, but also weighing less.

DON’T be tempted by coupons and discount offers on items you don’t usually buy. Those automatic coupon-dispensing machines in the store are there to get you to buy more, not save more. You won’t save money by buying something you weren’t planning to purchase.

DO save and share coupons and discount offers. Ask neighbors or co-workers to join you in collecting coupon flyers and special offers they receive. After each one of you is done clipping coupons, pass the flyer onto the next person or place it in a pile for others to sift through. Thus, if you are the only one who uses a certain item, you could wind up with several 50-cent-off coupons for your favorite brand name peanuts.

DON’T forget to bring your coupons. You can’t use a coupon you don’t have. If you don’t have a 100% reliable memory, always keep your coupons with you. Then when you get to the checkout counter, you won’t be struck by an “Oh, no!” moment when you realize you don’t have the coupons and have to pay full price.

DO use your eyeballs to scour for items nearing their “sell by” date. They are usually sold at a discount, and in the case of meat, the discounts can be deep–30 percent or more.

DON’T buy convenience items if you want to save, says the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, (CDCP). They may save time, (and your time is worth something), but just how much is a little time worth? Stay away from the macaroni and cheese in microwaveable bowls, the box of individually packaged crackers, and the pre-made kids’ lunches. Instead, the CDCP recommends, recruit a member of your household to make sandwiches, and pack lunches without pre-packaged items.

DO check the unit pricing on grocery shelves to compare costs of different brands, advises the CDCP. The unit price tells you the cost per ounce, pound, or pint so that you can make an informed decision on the better deal. Always read the unit price, notes the CDCP: don’t assume that the bigger can or box means a better buy. For example, the family-sized can of tuna probably costs much more per ounce than the mini can.

DON’T shop when you are–or someone with you is–hungry. You probably learned not to shop hungry the day you had no time to eat and then went grocery shopping at 8:30 pm. Also don’t shop with someone else who is hungry or easily influenced by ads, especially a growing boy. A child can toss Sugar Sweet Cereal and Buster’s Beef Jerky into a shopping cart faster than Nolan Ryan could pitch a strike.

Try these tips and find out how much you can save on groceries. Then treat your family to a well-deserved reward. After you’ve shopped smartly for the basics for a while, you’ll be able to afford luxuries: family tickets to a ballgame, concert or even a Broadway play, including airfare. And that’s not peanuts.

Sources: Official USDA Food Plans: Cost of Food at Home at Hour Levels, U.S. Average, May 2010; USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.
Saving Money at the Grocery Store; State of Connecticut, Department of Consumer Protection.

About the Author: Anne Verville is a freelance Web writer as well as a cost-conscious grocery shopper (when her son isn’t with her).

“Saving Money on Groceries” is an original article by Anne Verville. Copyright 2010 by Canville Communications.

Title:  Re: Saving Money on Groceries
Author: Meleah Rebeccah Hawthorne (meleah)
Date: On Monday, 16 August 2010 at 08:04:39 PM

These are ALL such fantastic tips! Thanks Dan!

Displaying comments 1 thru 1. There is 1 comment on this article.
Page 1 of 1 Page   1  

Login with your Canville account to leave a comment.

Return to Previous Page.            Return to Home Page.