Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Top 10 Frugal Grocery Tips

This week Works For Me Wednesday is following the frugal theme. We're all supposed to give our best frugal tip. It's hard for me to figure out my BEST frugal tip. There are so many good tips. I think I could rattle off tips all day. Yeah, I come up with some crazy stuff sometimes. Anyway, I finally decided that the grocery budget is where most people look to cut their spending first; so I settled on doing a list of frugal grocery tips. So here you go, my best frugal grocery tips:

  1. Don't be afraid of generics. Some of the generic products out there are really good; others, not so much. It's trial and error figuring out which ones your family will like. So each grocery trip, pick one or two generic items and try them. Only buy one of the item until you try it. That way you don't waste money on items your family won't eat.
  2. Limit trips to the store. Think about it, how many times have you run to the grocery store for just one or two things and spent way more then you planned. Enough said.
  3. Bulk items don't always save you money. Check the unit price. Sometimes it really is cheaper to get the smaller container; especially if you have a coupon.
  4. Coupons aren't always a savings. Sometimes its cheaper to get a generic version. Or maybe the item is one you don't really need or want. Don't feel like you have to get the item just because you have a coupon.
  5. Stockpile non-perishable items that you use regularly. When you find an item that you use regularly at a low low price. Stock up on it. That doesn't mean you need to buy the store out of that item. You just need to buy enough of that item to last you until it goes on sale again. Once you watch the sales for awhile you will start to learn the sales cycles. When stocking up, keep your storage space in mind. You don't want to buy so much that you don't have room to store it all either.
  6. Know your target price. Do you know how much you usually pay for milk? bread? soap? Create a price book where you track the unit prices for the items you use regularly. This allows you to know when it's a great price (stock up time) vs a good price (buy one if you need it) vs a high price (don't buy unless you have no choice)
  7. Use reusable shopping bags. Many stores give you credits for using your own bags. These credits aren't much, typically $0.05 per bag, but over a year, that adds up. So use um.
  8. Link your store cards to Upromise. This gives you free money for college. You can use it for yourself or a family member. And did I mention that its free? It isn't much, but every little bit helps with college bills.
  9. Groceries don't need to be purchased at the grocery store. Lots of times you can find great deals on milk and other food items at drugstores. You can also pick up some grocery items for cheap at Walmart and Target. Keep your eyes open and know your target prices so you know when to stock up.
  10. Use online resources to help find the deals. You can use sites like A Full Cup , Hot Coupon World and Slick Deals to help you find the deals at lots of different stores. These sites are all free too which I love. And don't forget all the great blogs out there that help you find the deals. Find some sites you love and check them regularly.

Do you have any frugal grocery tips you would like to add? If so, feel free to leave them in the comments.

And for even more great frugal tips, head over to Works For Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family.

4 responses:

Heather Kay said...

Great tips! In my area there are not a lot of places to comp shop and I have found that Aldi by far beats everyone else. If you have one in your area you might want to check it out!
Thanks for stopping by today.
Heather Kay

Amy Platon said...

I like your list. You have some original tips here. I've just discovered couponing, and it has really opened my eyes!

Abbie said...

Great list! I like tip #9. Also, I find that store loyalty cards are where it is at. (Even if you don't shop at that store very often you can still get their "weekly sales" savings.) My FIL once bought a three potatoes for $4 because he didn't swipe his rewards card. I told my MIL that she should make him savor that potato dish!
Thanks for a great post!

sunnymama said...

These are all great suggestions! I also look out for items that are reduced because they are near or past their best before date. For non-perishable items they're often fine for quite a long time past the best before date. For instance I recently bought 15 lollipops which will last sunnyboy for weeks and because they were a couple of days past their best before date they had been reduced from 55p to 15p (UK prices). Sunnyboy was pleased :)