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20 Tips For Cost-Effective Grocery Shopping

By: Megan C.

Grocery Shopping

With a few subtle changes in your grocery shopping routine you can save plenty of money -- something very welcome in these tough economic times. The following list has been compiled with the help of zenhabits.net.

  1. Always make a list. Before you go to the supermarket, prepare a list of everything you need, checking you don't have it already. Be sure to stick to the list.
  2. Plan out a weekly menu. If you plan a weekly menu in advance, you'll know exactly what you'll need to buy -- so no excess groceries.
  3. Don't go when you're hungry. You've probably heard this one before, but it's true: when you're hungry, you'll buy more.
  4. Stick to a budget. Make a calculation of how much you can spend. Then spend only that, and not more.
  5. Do a rough running tally. It'll take some quick math skills in the supermarket, but eventually you'll get used to it. Round up the prices: for instance if something costs $2,80 then round it to $3,00.
  6. Buy in bulk. If there's an item you regularly use, and you can save money on it when buying it in bulk, then do so.
  7. Don't eat too much meat. Vegetarian meals can be delicious and will save you lots of money: meat is very expensive nowadays.
  8. Pack your own lunch. If you buy pre-made snacks every day at work or at school, you're wasting money. Buy snacks in bulk and it will only take you minutes to prepare your own lunch.
  9. Be creative with leftovers. Don't just throw leftovers away. You can use them as lunch for the next day, or incorporate them in the next dinner meal.
  10. Always have batteries, toilet tissue and light bulbs. There are certain items that you'll never have too few off. If they are on sale somewhere, buy lots.
  11. Clip coupons. You can save 10-20% with coupons, but only use them for items you were planning to buy already.
  12. Leave the kids at home. They will nag you to buy things they saw on TV or their friends have. Besides, they probably don't want to go grocery shopping anyway.
  13. Look for specials. But don't buy them if you don't need them.
  14. Try the store brands. Brand names are often no better than store brands, but they're much cheaper.
  15. Pay attention at the register. Keep an eye on the scanner: cashiers do make mistakes sometimes. You'll be able to catch any mis-priced items.
  16. When there's a sale, stock up. Sale items can be a great deal. If it’s an item you normally use (remember the batteries?), buy plenty.
  17. Avoid trips to the corner store. Or the gas station! These are some of the most expensive stores.
  18. Use store savings cards. It's really not much trouble using them, but they can save you money.
  19. Cut back on your restaurant eating. It’s never cheaper or more nutritious than eating at home. If you do go to a restaurant, don't be afraid to ask for a doggy bag.
  20. Use cloth grocery bags. Not only will you be helping the environment, it'll also be cheaper for the long haul.

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