How To... Save Money Buying Groceries
With a few simple tricks, you can save a bundle at the grocery store. Here's how to be budget smart when shopping for your everyday basics!
STEP 1: Never shop when you're hungry or thirsty
It's all too easy to buy all kinds of things you wouldn't normally get (or quantities far above the usual) when you're craving food or drink. (A glass of water before you leave home could mean you don't come home with several 24-packs of sugary drinks that just looked so good at the time.)
STEP 2: Take a drive
Prices may be more expensive at grocery stores located in higher-income areas, so check out the supermarkets across even just a few miles away to see if you can grab some better everyday deals.
STEP 3: Know that Pretty DISPLAYS DON'T come cheap
Though they may not be especially eye-catching, look at the top and bottom shelves for the best bargains. Attractive displays, fancy packaging and convenience foods almost always cost more -- and stores often put the most expensive and prettiest packages at eye level.
Step 4: Give store brands and generics a chance
Store brands (particularly their premium lines) are often similar in quality to name brands -- and, in fact, may be identical. Not sure you can trust the generics? Most grocery stores have guarantees in case you try something and find out that it's lousy.
Step 5: Buy in bulk when the unit price is less
For example, that means you might want to buy the 64-oz size at 8 cents per ounce instead of the 32-oz size at 10 cents per ounce. But beware: Larger sizes don't always offer the best deal!
Step 6: Be coupon-smart
Use coupons only for purchases that you would be buying anyway or for something new you want to try, and try to redeem coupons at stores that double or triple their face value.
Step 7: Take advantage of the store savings cards
In addition to the savings at the register with each swipe, some will give you access you to special coupons and offers. (If you forgot your card, check to see if it's listed under your phone number -- or ask the clerk if he or she has a spare card he or she can use for you.)
Step 8: Share the wealth!
Tell friends about great sales and deals you've found, and ask them to do the same.
For more tips on saving money when buying food, check this out: