When it comes to ways to save money on groceries and getting ahead in your household budgeting, one of the first places you can make a real difference to your monthly outgoings is at the grocery store by choosing to be a bit discriminating in what you buy every week. So often when you go shopping, you start off going in for a few particular items and wind up with a massive trolley full of extras, junk food and stuff you don't really need.
If you simply exercise a bit of restraint and also make sure you draw up an exact list of items beforehand (and then stick to it) you will soon be well on your way to reducing your grocery shopping costs.
Here are 5 ways in which you can make your life easier before, during, and after doing the weekly shopping:
1. Taking a look at the weekly ads that each grocery store puts out can give you an idea (before you go there) of what you would like to purchase based on what’s on sale and which store has the items that you are looking for at the best prices. While looking at the ads, you can think of what your family likes to eat the most and see if and where you can get those items for the best price.
2. Tie in the use of free grocery store coupons. Almost every grocery store will regularly distribute manufacturer and store coupons for those who can find them (or know where to look) and would like to use them to save money on groceries. Coupons are one of the best ways to save money and there really is no reason not to use them if you are on a budget, especially when some stores offer double and triple coupons days to where you can save even more off every coupon you use.
3. Start planning out your daily meals for the week ahead before you go shopping. Those ads and coupons that you went out and found will help you save money on groceries even in the planning process. Many different kinds of meat and various side dishes will be available at knockdown prices across the different ads, so you should find it easy to be able to create a weekly meal plan using mostly vouchers and coupons. Don’t forget that when money is tight you can also use products that you already have gathering dust in the back of your pantry. If you’ve got an old bag of rice, that’s in date but just hasn’t been used for a while, simply grab yourself some cheap chicken and there’s two or three cheap meals ready to go!
4. After you have figured out what types of food you are going to purchase for the week, it’s time to make that list. As previously mentioned having the list will ensure that you both get the precise items you need with the coupons you’ve got at the store you need to get them from, as well as preventing you from buying any of those extras that end up bumping up the weekly bills.
5. Lastly, here’s a tip that will help you resist all that junk food and all those expensive sweets - eat a snack or full meal before you go out shopping. That way you won't be hungry and get tempted by those quick snacks and junk food whilst walking around and looking for your necessary items and you can save money on groceries by not eating any as you shop!
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This guest post is by Alex Simmonds, a writer and blogger who regularly writes about personal finance and financial issues that affect consumers. He writes about everything from how to save money on groceries to tax reduction and from solutions to credit card debt to savings accounts.
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