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!