How can you start saving money on groceries for your frugal living?
Let's face the facts, supermarket prices are skyrocketing but your wages have not increased and some of you are still looking for work after the great recession. Use these frugal living tips and tricks below to learn how to start saving money on groceries and reduce your family budget.
The less family members that are with you, the less that ends up in your cart.
Do not shop hungry
It's a known fact that if you go to the grocery store hungry, you will buy more.
Shop on a schedule
The less times you visit a grocery store, the less you will splurge on impulse items and convenience foods. If you have a set "time limit" in the grocery store, you won't have time to look at items you don't need. If you only buy what you need, you are saving money on groceries because you have less "junk".
Make a menu
Plan meals before you shop to prevent yourself from waste and overbuying.
Always shop with a list
Shopping with a list keeps you focused on your list and prevents the impulse buying that a grocery store can promote. If you notice, all the "necessities" are in the back of the store. It is arranged that way on purpose because 30% of grocery store sales come from impulse buying. The store setup doesn't help you in your quest for saving money on groceries.
Shop by unit price
Don't assume that bigger means cheaper. Compare the size and price to determine which is cheaper. For example - a bottle of Dawn dish washing soap is 3.00, 42 fl oz. The smaller bottle, 18 fl oz is 1.19. The smaller bottle is the best price as you are paying less per fl ounce.
Don't buy pre-packaged servings
it's easier to pack your child's lunch with those pre-packaged
servings but it's extra cost. Buy normal or economy sizes of your
favorite snacks, then divide into Ziploc bags or plastic containers.
Now you have a frugal grab and go snack.
Cut out the candy
Don't waste your money. The only fulfillment your body gets from candy is mental. They are of no nutritional value at all.
Don't pay extra money for a name. Most times the generic brand has the exact same ingredients as the name brand.
Use coupons wisely
Only use coupons for foods you would have bought anyway. Just because you have a coupon doesn't mean it's a product you will use. This could lead to waste. Not wasting is a good way to start saving money on groceries. If you use all you buy instead of wasting, you won't spend near as much on those items that you don't use, you just had a coupon for it.
Don't buy the convenience foods
The convenience foods may save you time on food preparation but they are full of sodium, preservatives and fats - they give you very little bang for your buck. If you are not savvy in the kitchen, invest in a cookbook and learn the basics. It's effort well spent and an investment in your finances as well as your health. You will pay for eating all that sodium at some point in your life.
DIY Snack Mix
Buying your prepackaged snack mixes can be quite expensive. Even a small bag can be several dollars. Make the snack mix yourself. You can buy dried fruit and granola from bulk bins and it is less expensive than purchasing packages of your snack mix.
Select your favorite ingredients, mix everything in a large bowl and use Ziploc bags to divide into serving portions.
Eat less meat
Saving money on groceries might even save a cow.
A daily dose of meat is not necessary....contrary to popular belief. You can have a healthy and cheaper diet by eating fruits and vegetables (grown in your frugal garden); whole grains and nuts; eggs and fish will add the necessary protein in your diet. Decreasing your meat consumption is better for you. Studies have shown that eating less meat reduces the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.
If you can't go all in, at least reduce your meat consumption in half. Your body and wallet will thank you for it.
Want to reward yourself for the amazing strides you've made for your frugal living lifestyle? You can dine out occasionally without busting the wallet and blowing your household budget You'll often find local newspapers and mailers will contain coupons for local restaurants. Visit the websites of your favorite restaurants and see if they have any specials or coupons.
Also, Restaurant.com offers gift certificates. You can buy a $25 gift certificate for a mere $10.