Budgeting: Grocery Money Saving Ideas

Keep Your Budgeting in Line by Saving Money on Groceries

The grocery bill is one of the largest expenses for most households, especially if you have a large family. Therefore, saving money on food and groceries can have a huge impact on your budget.

A good guideline for the average family's spending plan is that groceries should comprise approximately twelve percent of your net spendable income on your budget. Make sure that you include all food and beverages and household items which are bought at a grocery store when you are budgeting the amount for your groceries. The following are some ways to help you save at the grocery store.

Using coupons
Coupons offering discounts on sales and services can really stretch you grocery budget when used wisely. However, a danger involved in the use of coupons is a tendency to buy an item that you don't really need or would not otherwise have purchased.  But clip away if the coupon is for a product that you would normally purchase and the coupon enables you to get a lower price.

Most grocery stores chains also have copies of their weekly specials online on the store web site, saving you the cost of buying the Sunday paper.

You could also join or start a coupon sharing group with people from your church, office, or neighborhood. If you have a coupon for something you don’t need, you can trade it for a coupon for something you do need that someone in the group isn’t using.

Individual snack sizes.
Pre-packaged individual snack sizes may be more convenient, but they are almost always considerably more expensive than buying one large pack and dividing the item out into your own smaller portions.

Don’t shop on an empty stomach.
You are more likely to make impulse purchases and buy prepackaged foods and junk food.

Go generic.
Try store or generic brands which usually have the same ingredients as name brands and are just as nutritious. This is especially true for canned goods and frozen foods.  But be careful stocking up on a store brand you’ve never tried. It won’t be a bargain if your family doesn’t like it and won’t eat it.

Buy “in season.”

When buying fresh fruits and vegetables, know which items are in season and plan your meals around that.  You’ll pay a higher price for items that are “out of season”.

Never shop without a list.
You are more likely to buy items you already have or forget items you needed, requiring another trip to the store.

Cook from scratch.

Most pre-packaged foods are costlier than if you bought the raw ingredients and cooked it yourself. This is especially true for frozen entrees and lunch foods.

Go "meatless."

Who says you have to have a meat at every meal?  There are many nutritious protein rich alternatives to meats such as eggs, beans and rice, or macaroni and cheese.

Stock up.
A good time to buy extras is for nonperishable goods that are on sale. Many stores have “Buy 1, Get 1 Free” sales on canned goods and frozen items that you can keep for many months. 

If you have children, if at all possible, do not take them with you.
Children can distract you from taking your time to look for the best deals and checking prices and by asking for the latest fad foods, junk foods, or toys.

Go for it! I know you can be successful at keeping your grocery bill within your budgeted amount by following these money saving tips!