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Save Money Buying Groceries

by Nikki Willhite

 

When it comes to budgeting, food is the one area where most of us can achieve the most significant savings. That is why you see so many articles written about saving money on groceries.

The typical family spends 15% of their take home pay on food.  Obviously people who make more money don't necessarily eat more. They just eat higher priced food, or dine out more often.

People trying to save money usually only go out to dinner on special occasions, or they go out to lunch - which is a lot more economical. Most of us stay home and cook. The average cook serves about 22 different meals- such as spaghetti, hamburgers, pork chops, tuna noodle casserole, pot roast, etc., experimenting with a new recipe a couple times a month.

You know what you need for the dishes you serve. The skill required in saving money on groceries is to purchase these ingredients as economically as possible, and having them on hand when you need them.

To make it even more challenging, you need to make as few trips to the store as possible.  You know that if you go shopping for just one item, you will come out with three. One study shows that 50% of purchases are unplanned.

Here are some ways you can keep your grocery bill down

1. Shop alone. If you bring your spouse or children, count on your bill being higher.

2. Do not shop when you are hungry.

3. Join a warehouse like Costco or Price Club. There can be significant discounts buying in bulk.

4. Keep your eyes on the items on the bottom shelf where the prices are lower.

5. If you are not good doing math in your head, bring a calculator so you can determine the better value of the same item in different sizes.

6. Use coupons and send for rebates. Get organized. Keep your coupons where you can easily find them, and keep all the parts of a product you think you might need for the rebate.

7. Buy only items you know you will eat. Don't buy things because you know you should eat them. If you don't like broccoli, don't buy it hoping you'll eat better this week. Be realistic. It's kind of like a person who is dieting buying a dress too small for them, hoping that it will motivate them to lose the weight to wear it. It doesn't usually work.

8. Buy store brands when the quality is the same.

9. Eat less.   Let's face it- most of us eat too much. Try not eating after dinner. That's when you usually indulge in recreational eating. Without all those high priced snacks, your food bill will go down. Both your wallet and your figure will thank you.

About the Author: Nikki Willhite, mother of 3 and an interior design graduate, has been writing and publishing articles on the topic of frugal living for over a decade. Visit her at www.frugalhappyfamilies.com - where you will find hundreds of frugal living tips and articles. Frugal Happy Families- more than just money! 


 

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