How To Save Money On Groceries

16 Aug

Do you have a list when you go grocery shopping? If you don't, I can promise you that the first way of how to save money on groceries is to never go grocery shopping without one. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, you probably won't remember to buy everything you need so that you will end up having to make several trips, which will cost you extra gas. Second, if you don't have a list it's almost impossible to shop without buying impulse items. And buying impulse items can have a dramatic effect on your grocery bill and not in a good way.

Start with menu planning

We've found that the best way to make a grocery list is to start with menu planning. We try to plan at least five days ahead so when my wife makes a list, she knows exactly what items she will need to fix five days’ worth of breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

Use coupons as much as possible

Your local newspaper may have a Wednesday food section. If so it will be chock-full of money-saving coupons. However, you might do better to go online and get coupons you can use at your favorite supermarket. All you have to do is search the Internet on your supermarket's name plus the word coupons. If your store is like ours, you'll find coupons that can save you money on everything from plastic sandwich bags to organic vegetables.

Never shop when you're hungry

One little thing you can do in how to save money on groceries is never shop before breakfast, lunch or dinner. Psychologists have found that when we are hungry we always spend more money on groceries because everything just looks so darn good.

Look for BOGOs

One of the best ways to save money on groceries is to look for BOGOs or Buy One Get One. There are two ways that grocery stores handle BOGOs. The first is that the cash register will simply charge 50% for each item. The second is that it will charge you full price for the first item and give you the second one free. If your store charges each item at 50%, you might be able to save even more by using a coupon on one of the two.

Buy store brands

Our supermarket offers Kroger branded items on probably 50% of what it sells. We try to buy these as much is possible. I purchased the store brand Zero Calorie Sweetener the other day for two dollars less than the cost of the brand name sweetener.

I would guess that as a general rule you could probably save anywhere from 25% to 30% on your grocery bill simply by buying store brands. Of course, you will sometimes find really great deals on brand name items, so be sure to take advantage of them as well.

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