Using coupons and thrifty shopping are back in style . . . a good thing, especially as we enter the holiday shopping period. Spending some time thinking about what you need before you shop can help you save money.
Out of all the categories in your personal spending plan, you have the most control over groceries. The amount you spend depends entirely upon the choices you make at the grocery store. Try these tips:
Plan ahead. Think about the meals you need to prepare between now and the next time you plan to shop. The more detailed your menu is, the more help it will be when you get to the store. Better yet, use your menu to create your shopping list. Never go to the store without a list because it will help you avoid impulse items, or you might forget something. List the items in the order they are in the store. Go shopping alone and when you are not hungry.
Buy fresh fruit and vegetables when they are in season. You will get a fresher product and hang onto more of your money. Check out the grocery store ads for “specials” and build menus around what is on sale.
Food companies release coupons to increase sales, especially for new products. Use coupons to save money on what you usually buy. Avoid buying items you would not normally purchase just because you have a coupon. However, coupons can cut the cost of trying a new item or buying something you need for a special holiday meal.
Compare name brands and store brands for price as well as taste. Use the unit price to compare costs. The unit price is how much the item costs per ounce, pound, or other unit. The largest size is not always the cheapest. You can find the unit price on the shelf sticker.
Paying attention to how you shop at the grocery store can help you get more for your food dollar. Saving a few dollars each trip to the store may seem to be more trouble than it is worth. . . But those weekly dollars saved add up to a lot of money in a year or two. Call me to enroll in GA CA$H (Consumers Acquiring Savings Habits) and tie those dollars saved to some financial goals. It is FREE!