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Saving on Groceries

May 24, 2011
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I am aware that groceries are expensive. I am also VERY aware that eating healthy and responsibly is expensive, but we have to do it, right? Right. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who cringes when they get to the checkout stand and the total pops up. (“How did that one bag of groceries cost that much?!?!”) But as we all know, stocking up on groceries is much more budget conscious than eating out for every meal. Here are my tips for saving money on groceries:

Make a list! As a master of list-making, this is an easy one for me, but I recognize this is not an easy one for all. But trust me, making a list is totally worth it. You’ll get everything you need without forgetting that one very important ingredient. You will buy what’s on your list, and ONLY what’s on your list, avoiding that bag of chips or ice cream that’s on a 2-for-1 special. It takes 5 to 10 minutes to pull together a list, so slow down and make the time to write it down.

Do one big shopping trip per week. That’s right, ONCE a week. A recent survey found that shoppers who made “quick trips” to the store purchased an average of 54 percent more merchandise than they planned. Oops. By going once a week, you’ll have everything you need and you’ll find that not only will you be saving money, but you will also be saving yourself a lot of time.

Use the self checkout. If you find yourself having to make a quick trip to the store because you forgot something on your once-a-week jaunt to the store (maybe because you forgot to make a list), use the self check out. When you have to ring yourself up and put back a few of the extra things that you didn’t really need, you’ll be saving money and your waistline.

Find a local farmer’s market. Produce at a farmer’s market is local, seasonal and usually cheaper (and of better quality) then what you will find in the grocery store. And you also get the good feelings of enjoying an early morning walk around the market and supporting your local farmers. If you don’t know of a local market, do a quick Google search or download the Locavore app on your iPhone  (if you didn’t already do it after reading this post).

Get your groceries delivered. That’s what I do. Safeway delivery helps me to avoid impulse purchases and also saves me the time of going to the grocery store myself. Time is money, don’t you know?

Eat before you shop. This one is a no-brainer. We all know that when we go to the store when our tummies are growling we buy all kinds of crap that we hadn’t intended on purchasing. Do yourself a favor and have a snack or a meal before heading  to the grocery store.

I promise that following at least one of these tips will help you save money on your next grocery trip.

Are there any other tips that I missed? Please share!

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. May 24, 2011 10:45 am

    Use coupons. I’m not above that. It will save you a few bucks on things you already buy. The trick is to not cut out coupons for items you wouldn’t buy in the first place.

    Get a store rewards card. If theres a store you shop at regularly and they have a rewards card sign up. Most of the time you don’t even need the card, you can just give them your phone number. You’re sure to save some money with items on sale.

    Its Tuesday, be thrifty!

    • Angela permalink*
      May 24, 2011 2:11 pm

      Good tip! And great tagline! 😉

  2. Brittany permalink
    May 24, 2011 11:07 am

    When it comes to healthy grocery shopping, one of the most simple yet effective tips I ever received was: “shop the perimeter.” Low and behold, it really works! Most of the fresh, healthier items are truly found on the outer edge.

    • Angela permalink*
      May 24, 2011 2:12 pm

      Ooh, that’s a good one. I’m going to try that next time.

  3. Karen Chan permalink
    May 24, 2011 11:17 am

    I always look at the weekly Ads to see if any of my “staple items” are on sale so I can stock up.

    • Angela permalink*
      May 24, 2011 2:12 pm

      I need a “Like” button for these comments, but until then: Thumbs up, Karen!

  4. May 24, 2011 11:28 am

    Co-sign on the grocery delivery. We have AmazonFresh up here in Seattle and I love it. Items tend to be a tad more, item for item. BUT I can see how my bill is adding up as I go – and have an easy way to axe stuff I don’t need right before purchase.

    Questoin – do you really find farmer’s markets less $? I find them horribly pricey up here, but maybe I’m not shopping them correctly!

    • Angela permalink*
      May 24, 2011 2:24 pm

      I’m OBSESSED with grocery delivery and wish that more stores would do it. And yes, I’ve found that farmer’s markets are more affordable, especially if you compare to the prices of the organic produce at the store. Plus, I’m also in California, where the land is fruitful and therefore, could be cheaper!

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