Not all Grocery Stores and Supermarkets are the same. Some offer exceptional service, such as, Publix. Other stores offer low prices, but no service. From what I’ve observed, the prices in these stores are not that much lower. Finally, there are stores that offer no service, and high prices.
Saving money on your Grocery Bill is just changing shopping habits
It’s almost impossible to find that one grocery store that has the lowest prices, across the board. Prices on some items are lower, but for others, a little higher. The only way you can buy everything you need, at the price you’re looking for is to go to every store that offers the lowest price on certain items. This defeats the purpose. What you don’t spend on Groceries, you’ll spend on gasoline.
I’m going to show you 27 ways to save money on groceries that will benefit you, and it doesn’t matter which supermarket you choose to shop.
27 Ways to save money on your Grocery Bill
1. Eat at home
Eating out is very expensive. What you would spend taking your entire family out to eat will be more that buying groceries to prepare a meal at home. The advantage of cooking meals at home is the leftovers. Most of the time, food tastes better after it’s been in the refrigerator overnight. As long as you store the leftovers in air tight food storage containers, they will be fine. Of course, after a few days, you’ll want to throw them out.
2. Plan all meals in advance
It’s important to know what you’re going to prepare. Even more important is knowing what you need to buy at the Grocery Store. Planning means includes buying everything you need for preparation. One of the pitfalls, and one that I am guilty of doing, is buying something your already have at home. See what you have before going shopping. This can add up to yearly savings on your Grocery Bill of a thousand dollars, or more.
3. Cook only as much food as your family will eat at each meal
Some people go overboard when they cook. They think they’re cooking for the whole neighborhood. This is reminiscent of the old days, when company just dropped in. The older generation wanted to make sure that there was plenty of food and refreshments for company. Today, people don’t visit like they once did. Therefore, prepare what you think your family will eat, and this will save you money, time and time again.
4. Cook smart
Never prepare food without a recipe unless you know exactly what you’re doing. Free recipes are all over the internet. A good website to find any recipe you need is Cooks.com. I’ve had a lot of success with their recipes. Never prepare something for the first time without a recipe. You’ll end up wasting ingredients, and possibly, wasting the dish. You don’t know how it will taste. If it tastes bad, you’ll want to throw it out. And of course, this is a waste of money.
5. Don’t prepare dishes from scratch, unless you absolutely want to
Let me give you some examples. One of the dishes I like to prepare is vegetable soup. When I prepared it the first few times, I was determined to use fresh vegetables. This is time consuming, and very expensive. With frozen or canned vegetables, the soup is just as good, and it’s much less expensive to prepare.
Other examples are desserts. For years, when I prepared a chocolate, lemon or coconut pie, I had to make the crust and the pie filling from scratch. Today, I use Jello-o Instant Pudding and Pie Filling, and a frozen pie crust shell. Some of the frozen pie crust shells, and mixes taste as good as if you’d make the crust from scratch, and much less time consuming. The Jell-o is less than a dollar, and the pie crust is very inexpensive. The alternative is the high price you’d pay for the cocoa, coconuts and lemons. This way, you can prepare a pie in less than five minutes that tastes just as good, and you will save a lot of money.
6. Get a Food Saver System
The Food Saver System is one or the greatest products ever invented.
When you vacuum seal food, it will keep for two years or more in the freezer. With the Food Saver System, you can buy some products in bulk at the warehouse clubs, at a much lower price. Then, you can vacuum seal them and freeze them. The Food Saver System will pay for itself in the first month, and will save you at least $2,500 to $3,500 a year on Groceries.
7. Use powdered milk occasionally
Milk is one of the most perishable items you can buy at the Grocery Store, and causes many people to waste money. For example, you buy a gallon of milk, and end up having to throw half of it away because of spoilage. I recommend buying milk in a smaller container. But just in case you run out,, powdered milk is an excellent substitute. This is an item you can buy in bulk, vacuum seal, and keep what you need on hand. When ice cold, it’s hard to tell the difference from milk you buy in the carton or plastic container. Vacuum sealed in the freezer, powdered milk will keep for a few years. Soon, you may never buy regular milk again. This is one of the smartest strategies you can use when trying to save money on your Grocery Bill.
8. Give children smaller portions
This is good for starters. Giving them smaller portions will teach them not to waste food. If they want more, by all means, serve them more. Teach them the importance of eating everything on their plate, and remind them that somewhere in the world, there are people who would be very grateful for the food that many people waste.
9. Cut down on junk foods
I’m not suggesting that you do away with them altogether. Have them in moderation. They are not healthy, and can be very pricey.
10. If you smoke or drink, stop or cut down
When I say cut down, I’m talking about drinking. An occasional beer won’t hurt you, and in fact, may be good for you. But a six pack or twelve pack every night is a bit much.
If you smoke, stop immediately. I don’t like cigarettes because they took my wife away from me. If you don’t stop, they will kill you too. Don’t let this happen. Between buying no cigarettes and less beer, this will save you about three thousand dollars a year, depending how much you used to smoke.
11. Don’t go out of the way to save money
When you’re doing your shopping, and you notice the price of an item is more than it is at another store, don’t drive out of the way to buy it. You’ll spend more money in gasoline.
12. Take your lunch to work
As I said, eating out is very expensive. What was once a 2 dollar blue place special is now about 9 dollars. Even the fast food places like McDonalds and Wendy’s have gotten expensive. This is where leftovers will come in handy. Pack your lunch, and you will save at least $2.500 a year.
13. Look at dates when you shop
You don’t want to buy anything with an expiration date that is a few days away. The food will spoil before you get it out of the package. And don’t forget about the money you’ll be wasting.
14. Get a good freezer
Just like the Food Saver System, a freezer will pay for itself very fast. I recommend a chest freezer, and they are not very expensive. Again, you can save money buying Grocery items in bulk from the warehouse clubs. You can buy a freezer online today, and it will be delivered right to your front door.
15. Don’t be afraid to buy generics
All supermarkets have their own brands. If you read the labels, you’ll notice that they have the same ingredients as the name brands. I stopped buying Quaker Oatmeal years ago, when I realized that the oatmeal at the Dollar Store and the store brands have the same ingredient, 100 percent rolled oats. There’s nothing wrong with generic items. Some are just as good as the name brands, and some are better. All of them are less expensive.
16. NEVER do your Grocery Shopping at a Super Center
When you do grocery shopping, only shop at a grocery store. Never buy groceries at Wal-Mart or Target. You’ll end up buying a lot more than just groceries. For example, you may have the urge to check out the electronics section, and a 60 inch Smart TV could be one of the items on your grocery shopping list. If you want to buy a TV, go to Wal-Mart or Target another time.
17. Stay away from Convenience Stores
They are convenient, because you can get in and out fast. But convenience has a price, and it is very high.
18. Stick with your shopping list
Buy what you went to the store to buy. If you start adding additional items you see and would like to have, your Grocery Bill will add up fast.
19. Shop on a full stomach
Never shop when you’re hungry. You’ll buy more expensive items that you’ll want to eat when you get back to your car. Some people eat while they’re shopping, and show the empty package to the cashier so he or she can ring it up. This is tacky. Don’t do this.
20. Always buy ice cream in pint sizes
Ice cream is another item that spoils very fast. A pint is not likely to spoil, because you will consume it faster. Another reason is variety. You may have a taste for strawberry ice cream today, but not necessarily tomorrow. When you buy a half gallon, you will eat what you want today, and the rest will just sit in the freezer and get freezer burn. If you buy seven pints of ice cream that are different flavors, you can have a different flavor each day of the week.
21. Always get a “doggie” bag
Occasionally, you will want to go out to eat, just to break the monotony. Some restaurants serve a generous portion of food. If you can’t eat everything, always get a “doggie” bag. Never waste food. Besides, this can be your meal for the next day. Most people don’t think it’s proper to get a “doggie” bag. Let me clarify this. There’s nothing tacky about refusing to let food go to waste.
22. Weed out what you don’t need
Before you go to the checkout line, look at what you’re about to buy. If there’s something you don’t really want, weed it out. It’s better to know now that you really didn’t need it instead of when you get back home.
23. Watch the cashier
When I select an item from the shelf, I always look at the price. Sometimes, the price registers different at the checkout line, but not very often. When this happens, stop the cashier and bring this to his or her attention. You will always be charged the price on the shelf.
Also, watch the cashier, and make sure no item is checked out twice. I’ve had this happen a few times over the years. Cashiers are human and are capable of making mistakes. Unfortunately, being human, they are also capable of deception, but hopefully not. A cashier may have woke up on the wrong side of the bed, and feels the need to get back at someone. This can be very costly to you, the customer. Hopefully, this doesn’t happen very often. Give the cashier the benefit of the doubt, but still, watch them.
24. Save coupons
The Sunday paper is filled with saving coupons. Use them. If you do this every time you go grocery shopping, the savings can add up.
25. Have the ‘Store Ads’ paper with you
Watch for the specials for each supermarket in the Sunday paper. Something you need might be on sale. This will reduce you grocery bill a little, but doing this every time you shop will add up.
26. Never buy Vitamins
Vitamins are the biggest rip off in the history of the planet. If you eat the foods you need to eat, and have a balanced diet, you won’t need any vitamins.
27. And finally, shop at your local ‘Farmers Market’
The local Farmers Market in your area has the fruits and vegetables that are ‘in season’. This produce is fresher, better, and much less expansive than what you would buy in the grocery store. Here’s another place where you can buy in bulk. Buy your favorite produce, wash it, vacuum seal it in the Food Saver System and freeze it. Vacuum seal it in small portions, and you’ll have something in the freezer to snack on when you get hungry. This will eliminate your need to buy junk and snack foods. In my area of the country, strawberries are very cheap in April, costing around $8 a flat. This will make a great snack. What a healthy alternative!
In no way am I suggesting that you cut back on your shopping. By all means, buy the things you need. I’m merely suggesting that you become a smart shopper. Saving money on the Grocery Bill is something many people should try to do, no matter what the income bracket. It’s ironic that the people who make six digits a year are the very ones who want to save money.
Saving money is not just for people who are struggling financially. It’s for everybody.
Develop these habits I have shown you, and you will see a drastic reduction in your annual Grocery Bill every year.