January 10, 2015

How to Save Money at the Grocery Store

These days we're always looking for ways to cut back.  I know I'd do a little extra to save a buck!  Speaking of buck...gas down to a dollar! What?!  Finally!!!  Last week my dad came home from work and said he paid $1.75 a gallon!  When I started driving gas nearly $4.00!  $1.75....I can afford to go places now!

Maybe I'll go to the grocery store and get more baking supplies.  I still have a lot of recipes to post!  Unfortunately, grocery prices aren't dropping also.  In fact, some things are just skyrocketing.  Chocolate chips?  You don't understand my family's addiction to chocolate chip cookies.  We easily go though a batch (60 cookies) in two weeks.  So sad.

So what do I do to bring our grocery bill down?

1. Make a Menu - planning the weeks dinners in advance lets you know exactly what you need ahead of time.  This way you'll make one trip to the store.  Extra trips means more gas, more unneeded items, wasted food, etc.  

2. Scan the Ads - before you go, take a look at the ads.  I know Walmart will match any competitors lower price on the same item.  Just bring the ad with you and show the cashier!  They're happy to rollback their rollbacks even more! (as long as you're nice about it!)

3. Savings Catcher - anyone who shops at Walmart listen up!  They have this new thing called Savings Catcher.  After your done shopping, scan your receipt with a smartphone or type the information into a computer.  Walmart will search local competitors for lower prices on the items you purchased.  If someone is selling something at a better price, you'll get the difference back on a Walmart gift card!  All you need to do is sign up for a free account and start saving!

4. No Throwing Away - plan your meals around each other.  If you need a little chicken for Wednesdays dinner, have chicken Monday or Tuesday and make a little extra.  You can use the leftovers in Wednesdays dish.  On the same token, plan leftover days.  Leftovers make great lunches and quick dinners!  My family usually has leftovers on Wednesdays because we're all home at different times.  Just make sure you cook enough the prior days!

5. Use What You Have - try to use the food you've already bought before going out and buying something else.  Chances are you can find a recipe on Pinterest to use up that can of whatchamacallit that was on sale!

6. Cook at Home - believe it or not, it's cheaper to eat at home than it is to eat out.  If you plan your meals around weekly sales and specials, cooking at home becomes more affordable.  Not to mention it's a lot healthier too!

7. Stock Up on Sales - take this advice with some common sense.  Obviously if lettuce is on sale for $0.50 I'd pick up a head, not ten.  Only stock up on nonperishable items.  For example, canned goods and frozen items.  Just keep track of the dates!

8. Home Grown - seeds cost next to nothings, so, if possible, grow your own.  Home grown fruits and vegetables taste amazing.  Yes, they are a little work, but it's a great way to get some exercise and fresh air!  

9. Coupons - check for newspaper, magazine, and online coupons.  I like to check before I go to the grocery store.  Just be careful.  Only clip the coupons you need.  Coupons make it easy to buy items you'll never use.

10. Generic - if possible, buy generic items.  Generally, they are the exact same product as name brand items, just different packaging.  Yes, my mom used to work in a meat packing plant and the only difference is the stickers.  

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