When I was a little girl I was so insistent on always buying the name brand foods. I remember once I was in the cereal isle with my mother and I was dead set on getting Lucky Charms or whatever the most popular cereal was of that time. It had to be the name brand because the amazing commercial said it was the only one, the BEST one to buy!
I had no comprehension then of the marketing ploys and expense of "Name Brand". My mom tried so hard to explain that we were only buying the name, not the product. But I insisted that they were in fact very different.
Oh to be young and unconcerned with finances. I am happy to report that not only did I grow out of that but I have figured out quite a few ways to save at the grocery store!
Here are 10 Ways that I save money at the grocery store!
1. Do Not Buy Pre-washed and Prepackaged produce and fruit. It is so much cheaper to just buy the whole thing, wash and cut it yourself. Yes its not as convenient but I promise you that extra minute of work is worth the price.
2. Number one is true, except for apples, grapefruit and oranges that come in 2-3 lb bags. You will get at least 40 cents off if you by them in bulk.
3. Meal Plan! This will cut down on your grocery store spending because you can only buy what you have planed for and what is on your list. In the end, this way you only buy what you need.
4. On top of meal planning, plan for meals with similar ingredients so that the fresh ingredients don't go bad.
5. Buy ONLY what you need for the week or two of meal planning - so make sure you write a list of what you need. And NO adding to the list if you see something that you want, if its something you need for the meals but forgot to put it on the list go ahead and get it, but the hungry impulse buy of Oreos, chips, soda etc really adds up when you get to the cashier. So If its something you really want and plan to eat, write it on next weeks shopping list so that you can budget for that item.
6. It is cheaper to buy meat sliced from the deli then to buy prepackaged. Again you are paying for packaging and convenience. Buy a little at a time because the shelf life of sliced deli meat is only 5 days.
7. Buy Spanish and off brand spices/goods. In our grocery store we have a small spanish food section with a ton of spices, seasonings and herbs, all for the same price as the name brand but with 2-3 times more product. Seriously, it is so worth it to buy these off brand you will save 2-3 dollars guaranteed.
8. But always compare prices to weight. This goes with everything! Always always always compare. At first it will seem like a really daunting task, and for that first comparison trip I recommend not taking the kids, but always double check because you will get the most bang for your buck if you calculate how much a product is per OZ.
Don't know how to do that?
The Weight in Oz's or lb's in the product DIVIDED BY $ the price of the product = THE PRICE PER OZ,
which is the best way to see which is the better deal.
There also could be sales going on that you have to take into account when you are comparing.
Also, Not everything is good to buy in bulk. Costco, Sams Club etc they are great, but do price comparing on the items you want to buy because somethings are just not cheaper in bulk.
9. Be willing to buy off brand. You will find that majority of the time, off brand items taste identical to their Name Brand counterparts, and $1 or more cheaper. Though, if you have tried the off brand and don't like it better, than don't buy it again. It is better to use a product and spend more than to waste a product and spend less. Because either way you are not saving that money.
10. Somethings are better bought frozen. Fish - ALWAYS buy fish frozen, unless you live next to a fishing port. Because the likelihood of you getting fresh fish at your grocers stand is slim to none. Usually they buy flash frozen fish and thaw them for the displays. It is actually fresher, and cheaper to buy it frozen. Plus you will get to decide when you eat that fish, instead of being forced to eat it within the first few days of buying fresh fish. This is the same for veggies. Some frozen veggies are fresher than the "fresh" veggies in the stand. Just think about how long it took to get to your grocery.
Extra Tip: Its true what they say, do not shop when you are hungry, or when the kids are hungry for that matter! Not only will it lead to impulse buying but it also leads to a very grumpy bunch!
Your Turn: What are your tips to save money at the grocery store?