20 Tips For Cost-Effective Grocery Shopping
By: Megan C.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Stick to a budget. Make a calculation of how much you can spend. Then spend only that, and not more.
- 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.
- 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.
- Don't eat too much meat. Vegetarian meals can be delicious and will save you lots of money: meat is very expensive nowadays.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Clip coupons. You can save 10-20% with coupons, but only use them for items you were planning to buy already.
- 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.
- Look for specials. But don't buy them if you don't need them.
- Try the store brands. Brand names are often no better than store brands, but they're much cheaper.
- 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.
- When there's a sale, stock up. Sale items can be a great deal. If itâ€™s an item you normally use (remember the batteries?), buy plenty.
- Avoid trips to the corner store. Or the gas station! These are some of the most expensive stores.
- Use store savings cards. It's really not much trouble using them, but they can save you money.
- Cut back on your restaurant eating. Itâ€™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.
- 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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