Tips for Cost Effective Grocery Shopping

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Tips for Cost Effective Grocery ShoppingYou’re paying more these days not only at the gas pump but also at the grocery store. Blame it on rising oil prices, disappointing crop yields, global warming, or the weak dollar. What it all means is that you need to find smart ways to save.With a few subtle changes in your grocery shopping routine you can save plenty of money -- something very welcome in these tough economic times.Most people don’t get overly excited about their weekly trip to the grocery store, but instead of trudging through the task, learn to make it better.For those looking for tips to save money at the grocery store and stretch your food budget further, you can save lots of money grocery shopping if you follow any or all of these tips.

Make a Grocery Shopping List

Buy only what’s on the list. If you go grocery shopping without a list, you’ll buy things you don’t need and forget some of the items that you do need. It will result in paying more money at the register. Keep the list handy at home, and add to it throughout the week.

Plan Your Meals

Planning your week of meals ahead of time will help you focus on the items that you will need when you make up your grocery list. It will help eliminate buying extra food as a result of not being sure of what you will be eating through the week.

Look for Coupons

Take advantage of sales (and coupons) and plan some of your meals around them. Sales flyers are often found in the newspaper, and online.

Don’t Stop and Look at Other Things

Only shop for the things on your list. This could be tough to do, but sticking to your list will save you money.

Don’t Go When You’re Hungry

This is definitely true that when you’re hungry, you will end up spending a lot more. Eat a meal first, and you’ll be more likely to stick to your list.

Buy in Bulk When Needed

Although more up front cost, if you're truly going to use it before it spoils, this will be cheaper to buy in bulk. Do not fool yourself into thinking you will use it up though. Be realistic.

Buy Frozen Vegetables

Fresh vegetables will taste a little better, but frozen vegetables are almost as good, and usually costs less (and will keep in the freezer).

Avoid Name Brands

Store brands or brands other than well-known names are often less expensive and tastes nearly as good. Be willing to experiment. You might have a favorite brand of diced tomatoes, as example, but does it really matter?

Cut Back on Meat

Meat is more expensive than other foods. Avoid meat which has been handled for your convenience (skinned, etc.), this will cost more. Do it yourself. Better prices in family packs. Just freeze what you don’t need.

Cut Back on Your “One-Item” Trips

The cost of gasoline is a factor, and each trip may cost you lots more than you realize when you factor it it.

Avoid Watery Items

Things like broth, pre-mixed drinks, and all other items which are laden with mostly water are relatively expensive. Much of this you could make yourself from scratch for less money.

Buy Produce in Season

Fresh produce is always cheaper in-season. It gives you the opportunity to buy lots, and to preserve (dehydrate, jams, canning, etc.)

Rain Check

If an item is on sale but the store has run out of stock, ask for a rain check.

Drink Water

Not bottled water, but water from home. Buy a filter if your water tastes bad. If you regularly drink iced tea, sodas or other types of drinks, cut those out completely and just drink water. It’s much better for you, and much cheaper.

Stick to Basic Spices

When you buy pre-mixed spices, they are simply blends of basic ingredients which you are paying a premium for. Learn to combine your own spices from the basics. Check online for spice recipes.

Avoid “pre”

While pre-cubed, pre-diced, pre-sliced, pre-pounded, pre-seasoned, (pre-anything), processed, packaged foods, etc., may be more convenient, it costs LOTS less to make these things yourself, and is often healthier. Learn how. Make it from scratch.

Don’t Give In to The Kids

If you allow them, kids will eat the most expensive and worst least-healthy foods possible. Be disciplined. Don’t let them steer you to buy sugary sweets, and all those marketed foods that they see on TV. Be strong. Just because they really like this one thing or another, does not mean that they will starve to death if you buy healthy balanced meals for them. If they’re hungry, they’ll eat it. Who’s running the family… you or them?

Shop on the Edge

Health-conscious shoppers know that the perimeter of the store is where the good stuff is. The baked goods, dairy products, fresh meats, and fruits and vegetables are generally placed along the outside edge of the supermarket, while the processed stuff could be found up and down the aisles. But shopping the edges isn’t just healthier — it’s cheaper too.

Check Your Receipt

Be sure your prices are scanned correctly. Ensure your coupons are scanned correctly. Sale items, especially, have a tendency to be in the computer wrong.

So,just try to follow these simple tips and get an effective result.Would you like to add some more tips in this list?Do share it through your comments.


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