Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Lowering Grocery Bills

It takes time to save money on your grocery bill. Usually it's time that we don't have in abundance. Clipping coupons, scanning sale papers, comparing products take up a lot of precious time. But, in today's economy it's more important than ever to save money in every aspect of our daily lives. It's a sad fact that unhealthy processed convenience foods are less expensive than fresh and healthy food. With a little time and effort, you can save money and eat healthier.

Plan ahead so you don't make quick trips to the grocery two or three times a week. You must choose when and where you purchase groceries and know in advance what you are going to do with them.

Are store brands and generics a bargain? Yes and No. Yes, because they are lower in cost. No, because some brands are lower in quality or quantity. Pick and choose your items and compare them to the store brands available. Keep notes and you'll soon have an idea of which items retain their quality. Remember, it doesn't matter how cheap it is if no one will eat it.

Are coupons really saving me money? YES! If, you use them correctly. Of course, use them for brands you already use. Check for stores that double coupons. Compare the price to a discount store. If you have a fifty cent coupon that is doubled, you'll save a dollar on that product. Often times, that will make it cheaper than the discount store. Some stores only double coupons up to fifty cents so that the maximum you can receive is a dollar discount. Keep this in mind when sorting coupons.

Buying out-of-season produce is costly. If you really, really need strawberries in the winter, buy them in season and freeze them.

Watch the prices of deli foods. These ready prepared foods save time, but the mark up in price tends to be high.

Look for 'in-store' specials on meat and produce. Often these items must be used immediately, but you can always cook and freeze them for a future meal.

Plan your menu for the week and buy accordingly. Often times unplanned meals lead to extravagance in buying and wasted leftovers.

Make your own 'fast-food'. Think about the cost of the fast food breakfast or lunch you usually purchase. How cheaply can you make the meal yourself? Think about how much time you can save in the morning by grabbing your own meal out of the refrigerator rather than sitting in a drive-thru. Here's a quick and easy recipe that can be altered to breakfast or lunch - Simple Cookery Cheeseburger Muffins.

When you're cooking a meal, go ahead and plate part of it for tomorrow's lunch. You'll save time, money and calories!

It takes time and planning to save money on your grocery bill, but it is worth it in the long run. Have a saving tip you would like to share? Post a comment!

No comments: