The price of food is expensive, and it continues to rise all of the time. If you are like most people, you are looking for ways to make your food dollars stretch as far as they can. But how do you do that? Read on for some tips to help you spend less money on your grocery bill.
Buy only what you need
Just because something is on sale does not necessarily make it a bargain for you if it is not something you need at the moment. When you do the grocery shopping, buy only the items that you require, not something you might need next week or next month. If you know where everything is in the grocery store then make a beeline for the aisles you need and stay away from all of the rest!
Write up a list and then stay on track with it
Similar to the above point in buying only what you need, write up a grocery list for yourself and then buy what is on the list and nothing more. Do not be tempted by fancy advertising or anything else when you enter the store. With your list in hand, get what you need, and then out you go!
Know your prices
When you are buying produce, check out the price of the item per ounce or per pound. Weigh your fruits and vegetables so you will not be in for a shock when you reach the checkout. Some produce is sold according to the weight, while other products may state the price on the sign posted near them, such as: “Avocados $1.25 each.”
Check store flyers to find out where the best deals are on any given week. If you need a 10-pound bag of potatoes, then visit the store that has the cheapest bag of potatoes that you can find. If you comparison shop on a regular basis at the stores in your area then you will come to know which stores have the best prices on which items. You will also start to notice a pattern in the products that the stores place on sale the most often.
Buy generic or store (house) brands
We sometimes get attached to specific brands, whether it be peanut butter, milk, cereal, yogurt or frozen dinners. To stretch the money you have to spend on food even further, you might want to look a little closer at generic or store brands. There is often little difference between the well-known brands and the store brands, except for the cost. Try swapping some of the private label and well known brands that you are using to buying on a regular basis with some house brands and see what you think.
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Look for coupons in newspapers, magazines, online and at the front of the stores you shop in, and then use them as often as possible. Use them to try new products or to purchase the tried and true products that are staples in your home. Check store ads for sales and coordinate the use of coupons with sales whenever you can. Don’t worry about handing the cashier five or six coupons – she probably does the same thing when she shops for food!
There are also various websites, like CouponMom that give codes that help you save money while shopping online for various items, like clothing, shoes, or accessories. Other websites give you discount codes, such as RetailMeNot where you can redeem anywhere from $5.00 off to 50% off the total purchase price. These coupons also occasionally offer free shipping as well. Many people use these coupons to help cut the cost of shipping fees. Sometimes just by using something as simple as a coupon, a person can save quite a bit of money, especially when they shop online.
There are also various websites that offer cash-back incentives. Websites like MrRebates, Ebates and Bigcrumbs offer cash back percentages based on the total purchase price, minus the additional shipping fees. Many of the online department stores like Macy’s and JC Penny offer cash back incentives ranging from 1% to 20%.
You can request your rebate in the form of a check by mail once you have accumulated at least $20.00. If you would like your money faster, you can have it deposited into your PayPal account. If you are an avid ebay-er, Bigcrumbs is the way to go because they offer the most cash back incentive with 36% of the seller fees. Basically, this works depending on how much money you spend and the total amount of the seller fees that the seller is charged by ebay.
Stretching the money you have to spend on food is not as difficult as you might think. All it takes is a little know-how and a commitment to spend as little as possible and by so doing, save big!