Save Money by Shopping Smart

Oct 31 08:57 2007 Kathy McHenry Print This Article

Food is a substantial portion of many household and family budgets.  The budget-conscious person wants to reduce the percentage of their household income spent on food, without having to compromise on value.  If you are such a person, the following tips are directed at you!

1. Plan Ahead:  Make it a habit to plan your meals at least a week in advance so that you can make a grocery list based on your menu plan for the upcoming week(s) or month.  When you know what meals you will make for the week,Guest Posting it takes the guesswork out of what should go on your grocery list and helps you avoid last-minute impulse purchases.

 2. Don’t Shop When You are Hungry:  If you typically stop at the grocery store on the way home from work in the evening before you have eaten dinner, you will want to re-think your shopping trips.  You are inclined to buy more when you are hungry and to buy items that are not on your list.  To save money, plan your grocery shopping for a time shortly after you have eaten so you are not tempted by all the yummy treats on display wherever you shop.

 3. Stock Up on Sales:  When your local grocery store or supermarket has a sale on non-perishable items, stock up!  You can fill your pantry with the regular non-perishable items that you typically cook with and save 20-30% by buying in bulk when these items are on sale.

 4. Shop in More than One Place:  If you typically only shop at the supermarket next door, shop around and price-check!  By checking several different grocery and discount shopping stores, you will find which items on your list are priced less at which store.  You may find that several items you typically buy are 10-20% cheaper at a different grocery store than the one you normally frequent.  By spreading your shopping between two or three stores and buying items where they are cheapest, you will save on your food bill every week.

 5. Avoid Prepared Foods:  While you may think prepared foods save you time, they definitely do NOT save you money!  Prepared foods cost significantly more than the raw ingredients used to make them, so avoid them to save money on your food bill.  To save time in preparing nightly meals, you can prepare food ahead of time and freeze meal-size portions for use during the week.

 6. Use the “Farmer’s Market” Approach:  When it comes to buying produce, an easy way to save money is to buy fruits and vegetables in season.  Fruits and vegetables are cheapest when they are in season, because they do not have to be shipped, flown, or trucked in from distant locations to your local supermarket.  Because of this, they are freshest, healthiest, and tastiest to eat in season too!

 7. Reach Up or Kneel Down:  Supermarkets stock items according to where they can sell the most of the highest mark-up items.  Since most people look at the middle, eye-level shelves when shopping, that is where supermarkets stock the highest-priced, highest mark-up items.  So, look up or kneel down to find the brands with lower mark-ups and the cheaper generic brands.

 8. Avoid Main Aisles:  Most people will buy bread and/or milk at each trip to the grocery store.  Because they are such high-traffic areas, the main aisles leading to the bread and milk in any store will be stocked with high-priced items.  Avoid these aisles in order to avoid being tempted by high-priced items which will add unwanted and unnecessary dollars to your grocery bill.

 9.  Shop Alone:  If you have children, do not bring them with you when you buy your groceries.  These “little helpers” do not understand the importance of sticking to the grocery list and will add many impulse-buy items to your cart.  Save the arguments and the money, and shop alone!

 10. Bring Along a Calculator:  Many items are packaged in different sizes and portions, and without a calculator, it can be difficult to distinguish which item or brand is the best buy.  Bring along a calculator so that you can calculate and compare unit prices to find the cheapest brand of whatever you are buying.

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Kathy McHenry
Kathy McHenry

Kathy McHenry, founder and owner of My Online Meals is passionate about cooking and food.  For information on meal planning visit, www.MyOnlineMeals.com.  © My Online Meals – All Rights Reserved

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