Tips for saving money at the store

Here are some simple tips to help you save some money on your next trip down the grocery store. It seems like the price of everything has increased lately! Gasoline, clothing, food – it may seem that prices are increasing quicker than your income.  Regardless of the cost, food is something any household cannot do without.

Clip those coupons!  A few cents may not seem like a lot, but if you use just one or two coupons on each trip to the store, you could easily save yourself over $100 a year!  Coupons are only valuable if they’re for something you would normally buy.  If you don’t regularly purchase the 5 gallon jar of mayonnaise, saving a dollar on it may not be a good deal in the long run if you throw most of it away.

Don’t leave home without ‘em!  Coupons only add value to your shopping trip if you bring them with you.  Instead of using a piece of paper for your grocery list, use the back of an envelope (the ones that come in junk mail work great, and are free!)  As you write down your “to buy” list, make a note that you have a coupon for that item.  Make sure you put the coupon in the envelope.  When you get to the check stand, your coupons are easily accessible.

Make a list . . . and stick to it!  Make it a habit to go to the grocery store with list in hand.  Even better, if you go to the same store each week, as you note down items you need, write them in order according to the layout of the store.  Your shopping will go quicker when you do not have to backtrack to locate items you missed the first time around.  For example, if you know the dairy section is near the end of your trek, write down “milk” near the bottom of your list.  By having a list (and sticking to it) you are more likely to stay within your budget, and have meals that are planned.  You also may save gas, because you’re less likely to forget an item that you may need later in the week, causing an extra trip to the store.

Good deals come in large packages  Although large quantities may not work for everything on your list (like the mayonnaise example above), some things are a great deal in larger quantities from a club store such as Sam’s Club or Costco, even for smaller households.  For example, you can buy a multi-pack of bread, and freeze a loaf or two.  This works well for meat, too.  Simply re-package the meat when you get home, and you’ll have enough for several meals for a fraction of the grocery store cost.

With these helpful hints, you’re sure to see your grocery bill shrink.  Shop wisely, and save!!

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