Saving Money on Groceries
How do you go about saving money on groceries and do grocery shopping on a budget?
If you are a single mother, you will have to think of ways to save money on groceries. Baby formula, baby foods and diapers will take up a large part of your monthly expenses. And for single women living alone, being able to lower your grocery bill will allow you to save for other luxuries like travelling or save and invest in your future.
Tips on Saving Money on Groceries
Create a grocery shopping list.
One of the must do things in saving money on groceries is creating a master grocery shopping list. You can use a spreadsheet to do this. Key in all the basic things you must have and include everything from flour to condiments. Leave several spaces in case you want to add more stuff. In order not to miss anything, go through your cabinets, larders and fridge. Print a few copies so that you have one ready each time you plan to go grocery shopping.
Use your creativity and add anything you want like brand names, unit price, etc. Before you go shopping go through this list and check out the items in your pantry that you already have in stock. Having this list and bringing it along with you will overcome the problem of forgetting to buy something, buying what you don't need and from impulse buying.
Compare grocery prices.
One of the ways to do this is to collect a few fliers and make comparisons. The other way is to look at the ads advertised either in newspapers and magazine. You can search and check prices online. Or you can go to a few stores and check the prices of the items. When you make price comparisons, break it down and calculate the cost based on the unit price.
Collect, print and clip grocery coupons and vouchers.
Using coupons is one of the ways of saving money on groceries. Coupons are good for household stuff like toothpaste, sugar and flour. Search online for printable grocery coupons. Go to manufactures or store websites. You can also get them from your Sunday papers.
When it comes to coupons, try to get organized by doing proper sorting and filing. It'll be easier for you to decide which ones you want to use before you do your shopping. Do coupon trading and exchange with your friends and relatives especially if you aren't interested in frozen foodstuff. Ask from them if they don't want the coupons.
Buy in bulks.
It's cheaper to buy things that you use often, in bulks. It is a little costly on the initial purchase but you will save instead of buying it individually or having to go again to get the household items. But before you do that, break it down and calculate the unit price. The other option is you can buy them and split the items with your family or friends.
Buy items on sale.
Items on sale are normally less expensive than buying in bulks. Stock up things like toilet papers, laundry detergents, etc. If you've been doing grocery shopping, you'll know if the items on sale are worth purchasing. When it comes to perishable clearance items, check the shelf life.
Buy store brands.
If you are serious about saving money on groceries, forget about going for branded items and brand loyalty. Store or generic brands are cheaper.
Plant your own vegetables.
It's an advantage if you have some land to plant your vegetables. If you don't, use pots and plant your herbs, tomatoes, and so on, indoor. Planting and consuming your own vegetables help you lower your grocery bill and provide you with healthy and fresh food.
Buy meat and fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers and meat market.
Local farmers sell their goods cheaper compared to the supermarkets and you get them fresh. And one of the ways of saving money on groceries is to buy a big chunk and cut them into pieces. Buying a whole chicken for example is cheaper than buying cut portions. What you need to do in learn how to cut those pieces. Some provide cutting without extra charges.
Buy local and seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Seasonal fruits and vegetables are cheaper. And buy local. Imported fruits and vegetables are more expensive and aren't exactly fresh and free from pesticides and chemicals.
Plan your meals around what's on sale.
Check the fliers and ads and see what's available cheap and then plan your weekly meal based on these items on sale. Buy extra, cook them, batch them and keep them frozen. You can add some extra fillings and create a new recipe. And it also saves you time from cooking from scratch.
Change your cooking and eating habits.
Go for cheaper meat and use a crock pot or slow cooker. Reduce your meat intake by having it only once a day and substitute with rice, pasta and beans. Keep stock and learn to cook dishes that use rice, pasta, potatoes and eggs. It's also healthy to eat less meat.
Change your lifestyle.
You can make sandwiches from the leftover chicken and pack it for your lunch. Get yourself a thermos flask and bring your own coffee to work instead of paying for premium coffee. You'll save money that you would spend on breakfast and lunch. Bring your own beverages and you'll save money on buying bottled water.
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