5 Simple Tips for Saving at the Grocery Store

Eating well and preparing meals on a budget begin at the grocery store. Successfully navigating the grocery-shopping chore starts with a few simple habits. The preparation and shopping ideas here can lead to a more enjoyable shopping experience and more groceries for the money.

Does your grocery budget seem to keep growing along with you are feeding a family of four or just shopping for food for you and your kitty, incorporating a simple strategy into your grocery shopping can save you money? You don't need to spend hours dipping coupons to save at the grocery store. Here are some simple shopping tips that are friendly to your budget and good for your health.

Organize Your Kitchen and Pantry

That can of tuna you got for a quarter with a coupon doesn't do much good if it's lost in your pantry until past its expiration date. Block out a few hours to get your kitchen organized. Clean out the refrigerator and pantry.

Make a shopping list that you can keep updated (check out some of the cool online resources and recent apps). A five-minute look through your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer each week will help you be a wiser shopper. You'll know when you see chicken breasts on sale that you have rice or sweet potatoes on hand as a side to make a quick meal.

Use a Top Twenty List

Make a list of the top twenty main dishes you like to prepare and the family likes to eat. Keep in mind the expense of the ingredients and ease of preparation. When you shop, look for items on sale that are on this list. Aim to buy at least 70% of your groceries with these dishes in mind.

Try New Things Without Waste

If you enjoy trying new things, but your family doesn't always take a shine to your culinary adventures, explore just a little at a time. Prepare a new casserole in a modest portion, and make the rest of the meal from sure-fire family hits.

Plan Meals Around Sales

Do make a list before you shop, but keep it flexible. Instead of listing hamburgers, salmon, and strawberries, list beef, fish, and fresh fruit. Then look for the items in each category that are on sale. Flexibility is key, especially for the more expensive items. Stick to your list, and only purchase something, not on the list if:

1) it is a good buy;

2) it won't spoil before you can use it; and

3) it won't blow your grocery budget.

Be sure to shop at the same store each week. That helps you learn to spot their sales and steer away from areas you know are tempting.

Plan Your Route Through the Store

If you don't need anything in a particular aisle, just skip it. Train your eyes to look for the on-sale, special, and buy-one-get-one-free signs. When you need a particular item, scan that whole section for these signs.


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