8 Ways to Reduce Your Grocery Costs

David Sung | August 26, 2011

Does it seem to you like the cost of everything has gone up; especially when you’re shopping for groceries? The US Department of Labor estimates that the average family of four spends $709 per month on groceries or about $177 per week. I don’t know about you, but that’s not a cost that most Americans can take lightly. So to help you out, we thought it would be a good idea to do some research and blog about a few simple tips that can cut the cost of those grocery bills.

1. Plan Your Meals & Make A List- Take the time to sit down and plan your meals for the week; this includes breakfast, lunch & dinner. Do the kids need to take their lunch to school? Are you planning on eating out one night? Make a schedule and plan the meals accordingly. Also, don’t forget about the leftovers.

2. Don’t Throw Money In The Trash- Do you get the newspaper? Do you get magazines? Have access online? Look for extra savings on the items you regularly buy. Take a few minutes to look through the Sunday circulars, magazines or your grocery stores website and see if you can find coupons for items already on your list.

3. Shop On Days That Save You Double/Triple- Many grocery stores have Double & Triple coupon days. These days typically allow you to double or triple the value of a coupon 50¢ or less.

4. Eat Before You Shop- Being around food when you’re hungry leads to impulse buys and splurging. If you have a full stomach while at the grocery store, it’s so much easier to avoid those pesky temptations.

5. If Possible, Leave The Kids At Home- It’s much easier for an adult to walk though the isles of a grocery store by themselves than with a kid in tow. Many companies brand their items to entice kids with bright colors, cartoon characters & prizes. You’ll find your shopping trip will go much faster, be cheaper, and with a lot less “no’s” if you go without the kids.

6. Stay Disciplined and Shop According to the List- Thanks to your pre-planning at home (tip #1), you’ll know exactly what you need for the week. This should help you stick to your guns, if you’re ever compelled to buy an item not on the list.

7. Compare Prices On Everything- Many stores now offer their own brands for less cost. These are not the bland store-brands of old; many stores now offer a variety of items (including organic and specialty items) for a fraction of the cost of the name brand stuff. When in doubt, compare the price per unit found on the product tag.

8. Look Into Alternatives- Compare the options you have for meals. For example, it’s probably cheaper for Johnny to take sandwiches for lunch verses pre-boxed lunches. It’s also a good idea to compare the cost of a box of cereal verses scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast or the cost of frozen concentrate juice verses a carton of juice or powder drink mixes verses sodas.

By comparing your options, you could save up to 60% on certain items. That’s it for now. Hopefully, these tips are helpful. Let us know about your grocery cost saving ideas too. We’d love to hear from you.

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