Pool parties, picnics and dozens of other events fill your summer schedule; most of which involve food and drinks. The following tips serve as timely reminders to save money when shopping at the grocery store. Whether you are looking to reduce your weekly grocery bill or cut costs for a special event, the money you save in your grocery store aisle can be used elsewhere in your budget to maximize savings.
Most consumers have one or two grocery stores where they frequently shop. When you find a store that is convenient to work or home, inquire about loyalty programs which provide savings and discounts for frequent shoppers. Thanks to modern technology, many stores have the ability to email coupons, special discounts or even notify shoppers of reduced prices on products frequently purchased. Another hidden benefit to shopping at the same place is knowing where all items are located and the best times to shop. This eliminates costly “browsing” or missing the best deals.
Use Coupons For Items You Already Buy
If you are already planning on purchasing certain products, coupons are a great way to save money. The key is to only use coupons on products already on your list. Otherwise you end up spending more money on items you wouldn’t normally purchase just to get a great “deal”.
Buy In Bulk- If It Makes Sense
There are many benefits to buying in bulk. As a general rule, buying in bulk is a great way to save money and stock up on items you frequently use. Again, for this strategy to be successful, you must actually have a need for the items you are buying in order for true savings to be realized. If the item in question is perishable, ask yourself if it will be used before it expires.
Think Like Your Grocer
Brand names products are usually placed at eye level; look up – look down and compare prices before tossing an item in your cart. Ask store employees when is the best time to shop or if there are any special days or hours when special discounts may apply. If you only need three items at the store, get those items and check out. The longer you browse, the more likely you will make an impulse purchase that isn’t necessary.
Hands On Savings
It may be more convenient to grab a container of pre-cut fruits or vegetables, however this is not the most cost effective strategy. If waste is not an issue, opt for whole fruits and vegetables and save at the register. A few minutes of “work” and you will have the same end product at a more affordable price. The same rule applies to boxed or pre-packaged meals. In many cases the same product can be made with items in your pantry or ingredients can be purchased at a lower price.
By saving money on the items you purchase everyday, you can re-direct the extra cash to other areas of your budget that may be in need of a boost.