10 ways to save money at the grocery store

It’s Sunday! Grocery shopping for the week time. 
Enjoy this Bellytich Rewind
According to the USDA a family of four spends approximately $200 per week on groceries. Over the course of the year, that $200 per week adds up pretty quickly. And while groceries are never going to be something that you cut out of your budget, even the USDA admits that there is room for considerable savings.  If you were to become what the USDA considers a “thrifty” family of four you could end up saving $70 a week on groceries, which totals up to $3,640 a year!
If you’re looking for ways to shave money off your grocery bill, consider these tips.

  1. Buy beans dried instead of canned.  By purchasing dried beans and cooking them yourself you can save 60% on the total cost of beans.  You are probably thinking that you don’t have time to prepare dried beans, but if you cook the beans on the stove while you are home on the weekend, you can package them up into portions, freeze them, and then defrost them as needed.
  2. Buy generic when you can.  Buying the generic brand over the brand name food can help you save up to 50% on an item.  Macaroni and cheese is a great example of this. The name brand blue box costs $1.05 whereas the generic brand runs about $ .45.  That’s a savings of 57% on one item. 
  3. Look for locally grown, in season produce.  Farmers markets usually open in early summer and continue to sell through the fall.  Buying locally grown fruits and veggies will not only support local farmers, it will also support your grocery budget. Not to mention the produce tastes better, is better for you, and is cheaper.  Some stores will also advertise that they buy from local farmers, and these products will also be cheaper because they are plentiful and in season.
  4. Purchase meat in larger quantities.  Many times grocery stores will offer a discount if you buy a “family” package of meat.  Once you buy your meat, divide it into portions and freeze it.
  5. Compare pricing by size.  Have you ever noticed that sometimes stores put items on sale, but it’s actually cheaper to buy a larger size of the same item?  For example, if the store has ketchup on sale, 2 for $3 for the 16 oz. bottle check to see how much the bigger bottle costs. You may find that the 32 oz. bottle costs $2.75, so you can save $ .25 and only have one bottle to store.
  6. Watch the sale ads.  By buying what is on sale you will maximize your savings.  When you sit down to create the menu for the week, take a look at the sale ads for that week.  If baby back pork ribs are on sale this week it would be silly to plan to make beef ribs for dinner and pay twice as much per pound.  Maybe you are really craving pork chops, but they aren’t on sale this week and pork tenderloin is.  Making adjustments to your menu based on buying on sale can save you money.
  7. Price match ad items from other stores. Most stores will price match with the ads from other stores.  This will allow you to get the sale prices on certain items, but avoid having to run all over town picking up a few items here and a few items there.  So you’ll have a cost savings in your food and your gas expenses.
  8. Plan menus for the week ahead.  By planning out your menus in advance you will create a list of items that you need for those meals.  Buy what’s on your list and nothing more.  If you go to the store with a plan then you will be less likely to buy unnecessary extras.  Planning for the full week of menus also reduces the number of trips to the grocery store.
  9. Avoid convenience items.  If you buy your cheese in a block and grate it yourself, you will save about $3 per pound.  The same goes for any other convenience item like pre-cut fruit or pre-chopped onions; you are paying for someone else to cut stuff up for you.
  10. Use coupons.  Consumers saved approximately $4.6 billion a year by using coupons.  Keep in mind that it only saves you money if you use a coupon on an item that you would have bought anyway.  Don’t spend money on items just because you have a coupon for it.

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