Saving Money: Groceries

I actually enjoy shopping for groceries. But I hate to spend money on groceries. Hmmm…

Here’s how I save money when shopping for groceries. (A note to my loyal readers. The ill-fated How Much Do I Use In A Year, as predicted by Five Cent Nickel, is dead in the water. After starting my new weight loss blog, the types of foods that we purchase has changed dramatically. I am actually embarrassed by what we WERE eating. Yikes!)

1. Create a Grocery “Price Book”. Take it with you when you go shopping and note the prices of the items that you regularly purchase. Since starting the new site and changing my eating habits, I’ve had to create a brand new “Price Book”.

2. Use the grocery price book to determine when to stock up on non-perishable items. I use my book to track items like toilet paper, laundry detergent, soap, shampoo, etc. When these items hit a “rock bottom” price, I buy a three to six month supply.

3. Shop at one or two stores. It’s almost impossible to keep up with prices from multiple stores. Find a store that you like and shop there. Granted, there will be times when you pay a few cents more for certain items, but you will get a “feel” for the store. I shop at our local Kroger. We also have a Wal-Mart and a Winn Dixie. I don’t shop at Wal-Mart because it’s always crowded and the choices are limited. I don’t shop at Winn Dixie because it’s always dimly lit, poorly stocked, and overpriced.

4. Take a calculator to the store. Personally, I use the calculator tool on my cell phone. Don’t assume that the largest size (or the smallest size) of an item is the “Best Deal”. Divide the price by ounces/grams/packs etc to find the per “X” price.

5. I like to shop on Tuesday mornings. (I try to avoid shopping with the kids or on the weekends.)

6. Never shop on an empty stomach! Seriously. Two reasons: You will buy more junk food and you will not focus on prices.

7. Chill out. Even if you overspend on groceries, you will save money as compared to eating out. Ninety-nine percent of the time, it is cheaper to eat-in as opposed to eating-out.

8. Use coupons. Use coupons WISELY. Seriously, you can save SOME money using coupons, but only if you use coupons for items that you would NORMALLY purchase. Companies are not stupid. The reason they give you a coupon is to ENTICE you to buy something you would not normally buy. Be smart!

9. Learn to love generic products. Most “store-labeled” products are actually made by name-brand companies. (Have you seen these news reports about the peanut butter? The generic and the branded were made by the SAME company!)

10. Stop eating so much! (I provide this tip as a reminder to myself!) Face it. If you eat less, you will spend less on food. Simple, dimple.

This list is numbered in honor of JLP! :)

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11 Responses to Saving Money: Groceries

  1. LOL! It’s nice to be honored!

  2. Golbguru says:

    @ #9 : Yeah I noticed that; somehow I feel people didn’t pick on it much. This is the first time I saw someone write about it. Either everyone (except me) knew about it already or people don’t care about getting a “Great Value” product instead of “Peter Pan”. I am going to watch Walmart more closely the next time I go shopping (I understand why you don’t go to Walmart, but in our area it’s one of the better places to shop)

    Btw, congrats on getting mentioned in several prime news portals. This must be an awesome year for you…..first the Lifehacker thing..and then this. :) Keep it up.

  3. leanne says:

    Great post! I too love to grocery shop and I try to make it a game to see how much I can save. I once bought $125 worth of groceries for $41.80!

    BTW, I love your motto, no credit needed. Being one who has paid off over $32,000 in debt, I love now living the debt free life. Great site here!

  4. Matt says:

    A lot of stores (walmart esp) will price match from ads. Making one stop for the groceries saves gas and time and gets you the best deals on the things you need.

  5. Matt says:

    Another GREAT way to save at the grocery store is find out what stores will honor other stores ad prices. We have a super wal-mart near by that does. So not only do we get ad prices that other stores offer, but we save on gas and TIME!! Big bonus when you have to shop with 3 year old twins!

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  7. chai says:

    like the tips, although the last one is not true in my neck of the woods. i don’t eat much, but still end up buying alot. i call it the costco-factor. i need to have cans of goods and stuff around me when in the kitchen. ugh.

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