If you buy fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season, you will spend less money. As an added bonus, your food will taste better too. Foods that are shipped in from faraway places so that we can eat them out of season - think strawberries, oranges, cucumbers in the winter - have the added cost of transportation to get them to the store. Resist buying that hot house tomato in January. It isn't going to taste good anyway! If you have Farmer's Markets in your area, consider shopping there for local produce. Chances are it will be less expensive, taste better and be organically grown.
2. Shop Sales
Pay attention to the sales that your store is advertising. Buy only what is on sale, instead of buying based on cravings. Most stores post weekly and monthly sales. Find out the sales cycle of your favorite grocer because they don't all run Sunday to Saturday.
3. Plan Meals around Sales
Plan your meals for the week around the weekly sales. Chicken and ground beef are on sale this week? Great - plan your menu to include chicken enchiladas, stuffed chicken breasts, tacos and sloppy joes.
4. Sign up for Store Rewards Cards
By signing up for store rewards cards, you will pay the lowest price for the items in that store. You will also be eligible for special deals and promotions and may receive coupons in the mail directly from the store itself. Your receipt will show you how much you have saved just by having that special card.
5. Sign up for Store email Notices
Many grocery stores now have online coupons and unique online specials. If you sign up for their email notices, you will be in the know about these special coupons and deals. Stores also use their email lists to notify customers of events like super doubles and triples.
6. Use Coupons
Shop with coupons. You can find coupons in the Sunday paper, online, in the grocery store fliers, on special bulletin boards throughout the grocery store, on store shelves, on wine bottles and in blinking machines situated inside grocery stores. You may think that buying generic is always cheaper, but that is often not the case. By combining sales with coupons, you can often get items for free.
7. Plant a Garden
Feed a man and he eats for a day. Plant a garden and you can eat all year long. Fresh fruits and vegetables are expensive, even in season. Buy seeds and plant a garden for a fraction of the cost. Even apartment dwellers can plant small window gardens.
8. Eat Before you Shop
Never shop on an empty stomach. Make sure you eat before you head to the grocery store. Studies show that hungry shoppers spend more money.
9. Leave your Kids at Home
Shop by yourself whenever possible. Children often ask for empty calorie foods and have no concept of cost. Many a mom has broken down and handed over as box of cookies just to get some peace and quiet. Leave them home, shop in quiet and stay on budget.
10. Take a List and Stick to it
Get out your sales fliers, your coupons and your email notices ahead of time and make a list of what you need to buy for the week. Be sure to take your list and a pen with you on your shopping trip and determine to buy only what you have on the list. You will avoid impulse buys this way.
Post provided by Melissa (connorsmom) from TriangleMommies.com