We’ve all heard about certain ways to cut your grocery bill like avoiding the grocery store when you’re hungry, using coupons on double coupons day, and buying only the items on your list. These are all good tips and we should keep using them. However, I’ve found a few pointers that might help you save even more on your grocery bill.
The first thing you need to do after you’ve made your grocery list is to try to figure the total cost of your grocery bill. Make sure you’ve got everything on the list that you’ll need because after you’ve made an educated guess you’re going to go to your purse (or wallet), take out the cash and leave the rest behind. Believe me, this will definitely cut back on the unnecessary extras because you won’t have the credit cards to fall back on. And if you’re like me, you’d rather be hung upside down by your toe nails than be found short at the check out.
Don’t be afraid to look on the day-old bread rack or in the "about to expire" section of the meat department. You have to be careful, but you’ll probably be able to tell whether the item is good. Just make sure to use it right away, don’t let it sit in your refrigerator for a week. Who knows, it just might "meat" your expectations and save you money in the process!
Another thing to think about is the time of day, time of week and even time of month that you are shopping. I’ve found that early in the morning and in the middle of the week is when the grocery stores are less busy and you’ll be able to get more efficient shopping done. Be careful not to go on the first day or two of the month. Some stores have been known to raise prices because that is the time that social security and welfare checks go out.
Buy in bulk when it makes sense. If you’re shopping at Costco or Sam’s Club you still need to comparison shop. I’ve found that some of the items are just as inexpensive at our local grocery store and there have been times when Costco’s or Sam’s Club prices where higher. So most of the time it makes sense for me to get most of our groceries at my local store because we live two hours away from Sam’s Club
Look high and low for savings, literally. The grocery stores purposely place the higher-priced name brand items at eye level. The lower priced generic and store brands are usually higher and lower than the brand name items. Remember that the generic brand or store brand isn’t always the less expensive. Some stores I’ve been to list the cost per ounce, or per item (trash bags) so be sure to compare these prices when shopping.
Last but not least, if you’ve got kids at home try to find another mom to trade shopping times with. It’s a lot easier to shop without kids, you won’t be tempted to buy extras just to keep them quiet and you’ll have more time to comparison shop. Your chances of having an enjoyable shopping experience will go up as well as their chances for survival!