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20 Money-Saving Tips for the Grocery Store

Woman holding out money in front of groceriesWith issues from the fiscal cliff still fresh in our minds, it is hard to forget that milk was projected to increase to as much as $6 to $8 per gallon. Luckily we did not see this change, but it is important to remember that the cost of food is constantly increasing. In order to save as much as possible at the grocery store, follow these top 20 money-saving tips.

  • Sign up for customer loyalty programs. Even if you only go to a particular store once per month, it will save you money every time you go.
  • Plan meals ahead to structure your shopping.
  • Clip coupons from websites, newspapers, magazines, in-store displays, and circulars.
  • Stop paying the middle man and shop for in-season produce at your local farmer’s market.
  • Make a detailed grocery list and stick to it. (I find it works best if I divide my list into categories such as breakfast, lunch, and dinner and then organize what I plan to cook under each heading.)
  • Shop alone.
  • Never shop hungry, tired, or angry. Emotions always play into the types of purchases you make.
  • The best deals are up high, down low, and on the ends; avoid the main aisles and middle shelves.
  • When possible, chose the store brand for better savings. This is not to say that you should give up your favorite brands altogether. Buy store brand when you are purchasing basic ingredients such as flour, eggs, etc.
  • Compare the cost per unit or use, not just the list price.
  • Buy only the minimum amount you need. Avoid deals that encourage you to purchase extra items you do not need.
  • Don’t buy non-grocery items at the grocery store. Pick up toiletries, medicines and hygiene products at a discount store or pharmacy.
  • Look for manager’s specials in the meat department.
  • Keep an eye on the scanner so you can catch errors as they are being made.
  • Pass on pre-made and frozen foods; make meals ahead of time and freeze them yourself.
  • Be willing to shop at more than one store per week to maximize your savings by scoring the best deals at each store.
  • Shop early in the day when stores are less crowded to save time. An added benefit is that you will get the freshest foods.
  • Shop with a calculator and a budget in mind. You can use your phone or a quick mental calculation to be sure you are sticking to your budget. This way there are no surprises when you reach check out.
  • Get a rain check if a sale item is sold out.
  • Make coupons go further by using them for items that are already deeply discounted.

ABOUT AUTHOR / Madison

Madison is a Marketing Communications & Programs Associate at ACCC. She is excited to share her tips on saving money and being financially responsible here on the Talking Cents blog!

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