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Grocery Geek Presents: How to Save Money on Groceries

Posted By Jessica Fisher On February 27, 2010 @ 2:49 am In Budget Living,Grocery Geek | 13 Comments


It’s a wild thing to think back to paying full price for groceries. Several years ago, I would make my list of what I wanted to cook and head to the store. I’d buy something on sale if it was there, but for the most part, I let our wants dictate what went in the cart. I still don’t have our grocery spending as low as I would like, but it definitely falls in the “thrifty” category.

In fact, when I first started shaving down our grocery budget, I consulted the USDA Report on Food Costs. This helped me have an idea of what was a legitimate amount to be spending. At least by government standards. According to the latest report [5], our family should/could be spending $231.40 per week on groceries. I know from experience that we can live on half that. And even less if we went back to our hard-core rice and beans diet.

And we wonder why the government has so much trouble with money. But, I digress….

That is my advice to someone just starting out. Find a benchmark budget and then work your way down. Each month, try to get by on a little less by using some savvy shopping techniques. Some that I use on a regular basis:

  1. Consult the grocery ads each week and identify the loss leaders [6] that suit your family. Stock up on these.
  2. Scan the Sunday Coupon Preview [7] to see if it’s worth your while to buy the paper on Sunday. Walmart sells the local newspaper for half the newsstand price, so I usually buy three copies.
  3. Browse the coupon offerings at Coupons.com [8] and print the items that you know you’d use. If it’s normally a luxury item, clip the coupon anyway; just don’t use it until you see a sale for that item.
  4. Stock up on things when they are on sale rather than waiting until you need them. Then, they’ll be full price. Practice wise stockpiling [9].
  5. Make wise use of club warehouse stores [10]. Our Costco membership is well worth it to us. Not only does it provide a fun, family outing and the best pizza in town, but they regularly have the best prices on dairy, breads, and some produce.
  6. Use free product coupons [11] wisely.
  7. Cook from scratch [12] as much as possible.
  8. Watch for markdowns at the store and match them with coupons where possible.

How do YOU save money at the grocery store?

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[5] According to the latest report: http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/FoodPlans/2009/CostofFoodDec09.pdf

[6] identify the loss leaders: http://lifeasmom.com/2009/12/grocery-geek-presents-whats-loss-leader.html

[7] Sunday Coupon Preview: http://enlnks.com/aff_c?offer_id=12&aff_id=284

[8] the coupon offerings at Coupons.com: http://enlnks.com/aff_c?offer_id=1&aff_id=284

[9] Practice wise stockpiling: http://lifeasmom.com/2008/10/stocking-up.html

[10] Make wise use of club warehouse stores: http://lifeasmom.com/2009/10/grocery-geek-presents-places-to-shop.html

[11] Use free product coupons: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/02/using-many-free-grocery-coupons-at-one-time.html

[12] Cook from scratch: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2010/02/build-frugal-pantry.html

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