Reduce Your Grocery Bill With These Practical Tips

by Debbie D. on 2008-08-0214

Grocery shopping tips to save you money.

I used to think that people who spent time clipping grocery coupons and digging through their purse for them at the check out line were wasting their time — and that of everyone waiting in line behind them! After starting a family and getting some grown up expenses (like a mortgage!), I learned that anything that could save me money was worth the extra effort.

I’m finally getting really good at the coupon game now, and I’m regularly saving $50 to $80 off each week’s shopping trip. When I first started shopping with coupons, I would spend about four hours a week preparing my list and gathering my coupons. Now though, I can do it in less than an hour and get the same savings.

Tips To Bring Down Your Grocery Bill

Here’s what you do to get the most out of your grocery coupons:

  • Use them at a store that offers buy one, get one free offers (and find coupons for the things that are already on sale to further the discounts).
  • Buy things you use often in bulk when they go on sale, such as toilet paper, paper towels, canned goods, frozen foods. Stock up on goods bought at the lowest prices by using coupons and you’ll be saving quite a lot more than when you were buying singular items every week at the regular price.
  • Adjust your shopping list and meal plans according to the items that are on sale. You can plan your entire week’s menu based on the meats that are on sale that week.
  • Take advantage of frequent shopper cards that offer discounts or bonus savings. My local Price Chopper lets me swipe my Advantage Card at the store entrance so I can receive additional, unadvertised coupons — mostly on items that are already on sale that day!
  • Use coupons on double coupon day if your store offers it.
  • Typically, buying the smaller size when on sale and with a coupon, results in the biggest savings.
shopping, grocery bill

Beyond coupon clipping, you can actually save money just by cutting out a lot of things that are unnecessary. For instance, cutting back a little at a time is a simple way to economize. Start trimming the fat from your budget: your family probably won’t even notice that there is one less box of cookies in the cabinet.

By trying out even just a few of these tips, you’re likely to reduce the amount of money you spend on groceries each month. Here’s a challenge: how about spending three weeks planning your grocery list with the store fliers and coupons in hand; and then buying only the items on your list to see if it makes a difference? Money saved on groceries can be applied to your debt or to your savings, which makes it completely worth the extra time you might spend preparing for the next shopping trip.

 
Contributing Author: Debbie D.

Copyright © 2008 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Shinzen August 2, 2008 at 3:19 pm

How about just not buying stuff! The photo of the cart was full of food that has no nutrition in it! What a waste of money! You do not NEED sweets and snacks, and the value of your dollar is greatly increased if you buy high nutrition (produce, bulk) rather than processed or packaged. I’m more and more worried about inflation each day, too. I’m retired, and on a fixed income and am pretty freaked out.
[Aside from this blog, I enjoy the InvestTalk radio podcast investtalk.hitfastforward.com and blog blog.investtalk.com and SmartMoney's retirement info pages: smartmoney.com/retirement/]

Clemence August 3, 2008 at 12:21 am

The best way to save money shopping is to have a shopping list! Or else, you will start buying things that you ‘feel’ you need, which you actually don’t

rachel August 3, 2008 at 5:19 am

How about just not buying stuff! The photo of the cart was full of food that has no nutrition in it!

What? I’ll grant you that the Nilla Wafers and the child don’t have much nutritional content, but I’m pretty sure the watermelon and the milk are fine.

Odd Lot August 3, 2008 at 7:27 pm

Great post, I always love to see new money saving tips. Five years ago I would have said that it’s just too much work hunting down and clipping coupons. I’m glad they’re finally making coupons easier to use, some of the online options are great. You can clip and save online before you even get to the store now. Pretty cool, hopefully a lot of grocery stores will jump on this bandwagon.

I’d say another one for your grocery store list is to avoid the impulse purchases, take a list. Those little expenses will eat you up.

Great post!
Cheers,
Odd Lot

Momma August 4, 2008 at 9:23 am

Thanks for sharing this. So many people are learning that coupons have a LOT of value if they’re used right. When I started couponing early this year, I had no clue. I was all over the map trying this and that. Finally, I just developed my own system and started using it. Since then, I’ve consistently saved $200 a week or more on my grocery shopping, stocking up on great deals as I find them. I’ve lowered our family’s weekly grocery expenses to $100 a week for 5 people. If your readers want to enter, you can win a copy of my system at my website.

Praveen August 18, 2008 at 9:16 am

Another good idea is to not fixate on specific brands.

For example, we buy “wheat bread” – not “Sara Lee wheat bread”.

Then, you have more choices for coupons and, when you get to the store, you can choose whichever brand is the cheapest.

The idea is, if you always buy one brand, be flexible. Experiment. If you try a no-name generic product, and find it low quality, you can always switch back.

John Simpson February 11, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Using coupons has been something I have been doing for a long time. I save about $5 per shopping trip. In the past, I saved more, but it seems that there are less and less coupons in the paper and the quantity that you have to buy to take adavantage of them is keeps going up. Who are they trying to fool?

Stop & Shop June 29, 2009 at 5:22 pm

I agree with the stocking up and saving for later. When a non perishable item is priced extremely low buy enough of them to last until the next time the item is at a rock bottom price!

devorah January 10, 2010 at 7:47 pm

I just wonder if you save the same amount of money if you always buy the store brand (ex, Shoprite). Isn’t it just about the same cost as with a coupon for a more expensive brand?

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