Connect
To Top

10 From GEM: Keep Your Cash.. 10 Ways To Cut Grocery Costs

Creative Commons/401 (K) 2013

Creative Commons/401 (K) 2013

10 From GEM:
Keep Your Cash.. 10 Ways To Cut Grocery Costs

Shopping for groceries is probably one of the biggest expenses you have. Between rising food prices and kids that don’t stop growing, this is one of the hardest categories in which to save money. You can’t exactly stop feeding your family—although you may want to sometimes! We’ve got 10 tips to help you go a little easier on your wallet when you hit the grocery store.

1 of 10  

1. SHOP YOUR PANTRY FIRST

Creative Commons/aoneko

Creative Commons/aoneko

You’ve already lost the money savings battle if you head out the door without planning your meals based on what you already have. Take a look at your pantry and cupboards. If you have lots of canned vegetables, plan to make a hearty soup or stew. Have extra eggs in the refrigerator? Consider making egg muffins, quiches, or frittatas.

Read more: The GEM Debate: A Horse Is A Horse, Of Course..But Does It Taste Like Chicken?

2. MAKE A PLAN AND A BUDGET

Creative Commons/MStewartPhotography

Creative Commons/MStewartPhotography

The grocery store is the last place you want to be aimlessly wandering the aisles, trying to decide what to cook for the next week. You should know exactly what you need before you leave the house because you’ve shopped your pantry first. Next, create the list of items you need to complete the recipes for each meal. Think about the layout of the store and arrange your list in order. Now decide how much you want to spend for the week. Take exactly that amount in cash, leaving your debit and credit cards at home. You are far less likely to make impulse purchases if you know you don’t have your cards to lean on.

Read more: Super Start To Summer: Let’s Go Shopping!

3. STOCK UP ON STAPLES

Creative Commons/anitasarkeesian

Creative Commons/anitasarkeesian

Stock up on food with a long shelf life and non-perishable products anytime your store has a sale on those items. Even if you’re not out of the item, you will need it at some point so you may as well save money. Know what’s on sale before you leave the house by looking at the store’s online circular, that way you can include your stock-up items in your budget.

Read more: Guest Posting: 5 Steps To Mindful Eating

4. JOIN A WAREHOUSE CLUB

Creative Commons/DHJung

Creative Commons/DHJung

Warehouse clubs like Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s have yearly membership fees. Depending on how often you’ll shop there and the kind of items you buy, it could be well worth it. When I joined Costco in 2001, I was young, single, and childless. I didn’t shop there enough to make the fee worthwhile. Now that I’m young, married, and have four kids, I shop there at least twice a month. I can get my twin sons’ diapers for 25 cents each, whereas at the grocery or drug store, I could pay up to 39 cents per diaper. That 14-cent difference adds up fast.

Read more: Our Story Begins: Daddy Style: 5 Easy Dinners You Can Make At Home (VIDEO)

5. USE COUPONS

Creative Commons/westedmontonlocal

Creative Commons/westedmontonlocal

Coupons are an excellent way to put a dent in your grocery bill—if you use them with care. The Sunday paper is a good place to start, but I find that the majority of those coupons are for products I don’t want or need. Buying an item I don’t want just because I have a 50-cent coupon isn’t saving me a dime, and, in fact, I lose money by buying the item in the first place. I scour store websites and online couponing websites for things I can really use. Also, I never buy anything online without doing a search to see if there’s a coupon code to use at checkout.

Read more: It’s New Year’s Eve.. 10 Foods To Partake Of (And 2 To Avoid) For A Prosperous 2013!

6. SKIP PREPACKAGED FOODS

Creative Commons/damian m

Creative Commons/damian m

When you’re tired and hungry or just don’t like to cook, it’s so easy to let the grocery store do all the work for you. They are all too happy to oblige. The problem is that prepackaged and convenience foods cost way more than they’re worth. Part of what you’re paying for is somebody else’s time and effort. I was at one of my local stores eyeing a package of meat and diced vegetables for beef stew. The price was almost $12! I don’t like dicing vegetables, but I dislike wasting money even more.

Read more: Our Story Begins: Time And Truth.. The Lowdown On Fast Food And Families

7. GET FAMILIAR WITH UNIT PRICES

Creative Commons/muffett68

Creative Commons/muffett68

Scan the stickers on the shelf for unit prices, not just package prices. The unit price tells you the cost per ounce, gallon, pound, etc. Knowing how much a product costs per unit helps you get the best value for your dollar. Let’s compare two jars of pasta sauce. Brand A is 28 ounces and on sale for $2.99. Brand B is 36 ounces and the regular price is $3.39. If you just look at the sticker price, you’ll assume that Brand A is the better deal because it costs less. The unit price for Brand A is nearly 11 cents per ounce. The unit price for Brand B is almost 10 cents per ounce. Even though Brand B costs a little more, you’re paying less per ounce and get quite a bit more sauce.

Read more: Ask Rene: My Mother-In-Law’s Meals STINK!

8. BUY STORE BRANDS

Creative Commons/jawcrusher

Creative Commons/jawcrusher

When I was a kid, I hated when my mother bought generic food. Most of it came in black and white packaging.  Although kids don’t have discerning palates, every kid I knew disliked the bland flavor of generic brands. Times have certainly changed. Stores have put a lot of effort into getting consumers to buy their private labels. The packaging is nearly identical. For many foods, it’s hard to tell the difference between the big names and their store brand counterparts. Store brands also cost an average of 25% less than big name brands.

Read more: Thanksgiving Good Enough Mother Style: What’s Your Favorite Thing To Do With Leftovers?

9. DON’T SHOP OUT OF BOREDOM

Creative Commons/bob7adin

Creative Commons/bob7adin

If you’re shopping for groceries (or anything, for that matter) because you have nothing better to do or you just want to get out of the house, you’re headed down the wrong road. You will spend money unnecessarily. Nobody enjoys being bored, but there are many other things you can do for recreation and entertainment.

Read more: 10 From GEM: 10 Meals You Can Prepare In 10 Minutes

10. GET IN, GET OUT

Creative Commons/sleepyhead's

Creative Commons/sleepyhead’s

Plan to be in the grocery store for no more than 30 minutes. I set the timer on my watch the moment I walk into a store and make it a game with myself to be back at the door in 30 minutes or less. Of course, the only thing I win is the personal satisfaction of beating a goal I set for myself. My “game” helps me stay laser-focused on my list and I don’t get distracted by flashy endcaps. I don’t handle products too much. The more you interact with products, the more likely you are to buy them. That’s the reason stores pass out free samples of food. When you’re offered a sample, just keep walking. That’s easy to do when you’re not hungry, so eat before you shop.

Read more: 10 From GEM: Valentine’s Day Edition: Sexy Cuisine In Under 30 Minutes

***********************************************************************************************************************************

There are dozens of ways to save money on grocery shopping. What are your tips and tricks to save money? Share your best ideas below.

More From GEM:

ASK RENE: SUPERSIZED GRANDKIDS

The Golden Rule: What Same-Sex Marriage And Kid’s Meals Have In Common

Guest Posting: Bring Home The Bacon? 5 Cool Ways To (Not) Fry It Up In A Pan…

 

 

picmonkey alexis

Alexis Trass Walker lives in Gary, Indiana, with her husband and four children. She is a stay at home mom and writer who loves all things chocolate. Read more about Alexis on her blog lilliebelle.org, email her at alexistrasswalker@gmail.com, or follow her on Twitter @LillieBelle5.

 

1 of 10  

7 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in 10 From GEM

Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

Copyright © 2017 Good Enough Mother® Designed By ABlackWebDesign