7 Tips for Saving Money on Family Groceries

grocery-shopping.jpgAny parent knows that grocery shopping can get pretty expensive, especially when buying food for an entire family. As a mother of two I know how much groceries can cost each month, especially when buying everything from breakfast to dinner and even snacks. As kids grow bigger so do their appetites. They can all add up to a pretty penny, and can cost a family hundreds of dollars a month to keep everyone in their household satisfied. There are many ways to save money on groceries, but it requires smart shopping and a little dedication.

1. Clipping Coupons

Using coupons to shop is a great way to save money, as long as you are only using the coupons that are beneficial. Most coupons are for new items or name brand products, so you can actually end up paying more by using some coupons. Instead, only use coupons for items that you buy on a regular basis, and compare prices to find out if you would be better off not using the coupon to purchase a different brand. Sort through your Sunday paper and pick out the coupons that will be beneficial, and disregard any coupons for new items or pricey brands.

Also, checkout places where you can print coupons online. This can save some additional time and money. Click Here for one place you can go to print manufacturers coupons online.

2. Buy Store Brands

Buying store brands is one of the best ways to save money, since they are always slightly less expensive than name brand products. They are just as good when it comes to taste and quality, but tend to be less expensive since they don’t have a fancy label on them. Most grocery stores will offer a store brand for a number of different products, with everything from canned goods to cereals, coffee, and even meat. Here in Chattanooga we frequent Publix and Walmart and find the store brands usually as good as the name brand foods.

3. Pick The Cheapest Grocery Store

All grocery stores offer different prices, even on the same products. Shop around to find which store in your area offers the best prices all year, instead of just shopping by sales. Grocery stores that require you bag your own groceries usually offer the best prices, since they are able to save a little money by not having to hire baggers. You can also look for grocery stores that offer discounts to loyal shoppers, which usually requires a free membership and a membership card that is scanned each time you shop.

4. Buy in Bulk

Do you have a Sams Club or Costco in your area? Membership can pay off easily with a large family. Buying in bulk is one of the best ways to save money, especially if you have the room to store excess goods. Everything from paper products to canned goods can last a lifetime, and you can save hundreds of dollars a year by purchasing them in larger quantities. You can even purchase bread, pasta, and other food items in bulk that your family eats on a regular basis, since it will most likely be eaten before it even has a chance to spoil. You can save a great deal of money when buying in bulk because you are paying for less packaging and you won’t have to shop for those items for a very long time.

5. Avoid Peak Shopping Times

You can save a great deal of money by avoiding peak shopping times, since most grocery stores tend to raise their prices when they know everyone will be shopping. Peak shopping times are usually around major holidays, government paycheck mail out days, weekends, and the beginning and middle of the month. Because grocery stores don’t have to try and bring in shoppers, they tend to raise their prices slightly to make additional money. Try shopping in the middle of the week and around the peak shopping times, since you can save quite a bit of money in the long run.

6. Look For Sales

It is important to look through your current sale page for your favorite grocery store, so you can plan your weekly meals around what is currently on sale. It is, however, important to compare the sale prices to the prices you normally see in your local grocery store, since you might not save money even when sales are occurring. Some stores will increase the price of items that are going on sale the following week, so you should pay attention to the prices you normally pay for your groceries. It may be cheaper to purchase brands that aren’t on sale, since they haven’t increased in price.

7. Check the Discount Bin and Deli

Most grocery stores will contain a discount bin somewhere in the store, and it is normally full of leftover items that are no longer being carried in the store. Everything from canned goods to bakery items can be found in the discount bins, and are normally knocked down to an extremely good price. Try stocking up on anything nonperishable from this bin, only as long as you plan on using it in your home. You should also stop by the deli if you are shopping at night, since they too offer discounts on deli food items. They usually try to get rid of the last of the deli meat and salads at the end of the night, so they usually sell them at very cheap prices to make room for the next day’s fresh batch. The prices usually aren’t advertised, so you may have to ask an associate for any details about discounts.

Other quick tips include never, ever go shopping when you or someone in your family is hungry. Also with the price of gas, plan your trips wisely to lessen the distance traveled. If you or a neighbor likes to shop at the same places, you could even consider shopping together.

Even though grocery shopping can cost you a great deal of money, your family has to eat and you are responsible for feeding them. There are many great ways to save money on groceries every month, and you can save hundreds of dollars a year by applying all of the different tips. Even if you are only saving a few pennies on each product, it adds up in the long run and means more change in your pocket. Grocery shopping shouldn’t leave you feeling like you just wasted a bunch of money, and you don’t have to feel that way as long as you are saving money while grocery shopping.

Don't forget to also check out our article on Gas Saving Tips

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Comments on 7 Tips for Saving Money on Family Groceries Leave a Comment

June 16, 2008

Yvie @ 10:16 pm #

We usually buy groceries in bulk or in large sizes. We find this cheaper and practical. This is all true.

Thanks for the great tip. 😀

June 22, 2008

Mo @ 2:42 pm #

Great ideas and tips, especially in the soaring cost of food, gas, etc. Thanks so much.

October 30, 2008

Lisa in Chicago @ 9:34 pm #

Why isn't buying local mentioned? What about CSAs…. community supported agriculture. If we invest our money in warehouse stores we are sending a message to our local farmers that fresh food isn't important. Buying seasonal food can be less expensive than buying whatever we want whenever we want. Clipping coupons is great and necessary. Store brands are a great price saver but as consumers we should want to know who is making our food. As a society we have to think of food as pay now or pay later. If we put cheap and inexpensive food in our families bodies we will pay later with disease and weight problems. I pay attention to prices when I shop for my family and stock up on natural items when the price is right too.

May 8, 2010

Ellen S. @ 11:23 am #

The concept of "saving money" is easier said than done for most people. I understand that it is 'easy and logical' for some people, but I also understand it can be a difficult habit to break for others.

If you're looking to save money or change your lifestyle, my advice is to take it in "baby-steps" because it won't happen overnight. Here are some tips that helped me out.

1. Always pay more than the minimum on any credit card payments – if you don't believe me you can calculate it for yourself (http://www.csgnetwork.com/creditcardmincalc.html)
2. Use coupons when grocery shopping
3. Try online shopping – it’s saves on gas & they have bigger markdowns (http://www.shoptivity.com)
4. Read a book – it’s cheaper than going to a movie (http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/)
5. Know your budget! (https://www.dl.ed.gov/borrower/BudgetCalculator.do)

Good luck and happy savings!

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