by Catalogs.com Info Guru Jay Feldman
Grocery shopping is expensive.
Just think of all the money we’d save if we could just dispense with all that pesky eating and primal survival sort of stuff. But alas, our hunter and gatherer instincts have morphed into catching game and grain in the comforts of a grocery store. But just like the wilds of old, there’s traps to be wary of, like those dreaded impulse buys at the cash register. Sure, we’ve all heard the countless ways to save money on food bills, but here’s a few more to peruse in case you forgot, or just crawled out from under that metaphoric rock.
10. Get a Grocery List App
Creating lists are great if you’re the forgetful type, so long as you don’t forget to bring the list with you to begin with. Making a list is simple and obvious, yet seemingly eludes people more often than it should. But putting pen to paper is going the way of the dodo, so download one of them there newfangled apps and create lists on your smartphone so it’s always with you and easy to update.
9. Shop Like You’re Ordering Off a Menu
This one sort of goes hand in hand with list making. People tend to be quite fussy when ordering off a menu, but when they’re in a grocery store, all bets are off. Be just as picky at the supermarket as you are at a restaurant. Create your menus ahead and only buy the ingredients you intend to use in the coming week, and leave the rest on the shelf; no matter how vibrant and eye catching that packaging may be.
8. Coupons, Coupons, Glorious Coupons
Sure, clipping can be a pain, but the good news is, there’s still a few places that ship manufacturer’s coupons to you direct, minus the clipping.
7. Digital Coupons
Coupon hunting doesn’t stop with good old fashioned paper. There’s loads of digital coupons online and most major retailers offer their own as well. You can often print the coupons yourself, but that costs ink and paper. Join your grocer’s shopping club and download their app to increase your savings. Digital coupons load directly to your account and then just show the bar code at checkout to get the savings instantly. Alternatively, coupons can be linked directly to your rewards account and deducted off your bill automatically.
6. Buy in Bulk
One of the best ways to save money on food bills is to buy in bulk, but visiting those big club stores can be a real pain. Luckily, there’s plenty of online retailers that deliver bulk foods right to your door, which saves you both time and money, not to mention that hectic circle around the lot looking for that elusive parking space.
5. Pack a Lunch
Sure, there’s a great food court at work, and that yummy noodle shop delivers. However, packing a lunch is not only cheaper, but healthier too. Make a sandwich, or pack some leftovers into a plastic container, either way, it costs less than eating out and you know exactly what’s going into your body.
4. Stock Your Pantry
If you’re a shrewd shopper, you scan all the weekly sales and circulars for the best deals. Stock up on items you use regularly when they’re on sale and keep your own supply at home. Always check for sales when you’re shopping and pass over regular priced items if there’s no immediate need. Then the next time the price drops, buy enough to last you a while; hopefully until it goes on sale again.
3. Check the Unit Price
If you look closely at those bar codes grocers stick on their shelves beneath their products, you’ll see they give estimates for cost per unit, per ounce, or what have you. Scan the shelves for matching products then compare these numbers to make sure you’re getting the best overall deal. Sometimes spending a little more for a larger quantity saves you big in the long run.
2. Visit a Dollar Store
It might sound silly to do your grocery shopping at a dollar store but the bigger ones carry packaged foods, frozen foods and even produce. Why pay top dollar when you can spend just one?
1. No-Name Brands Are Your Friend
Buying generic is still one of the easiest ways to save money on food bills. If you look closely, generic packaging is almost identical to name brand. Your local grocer is in the business of selling food, not making it. Most of those generics are actually made by those expensive name brand items.