Tips for Saving Money on Groceries

Over the last couple of years, the recession has forced most of us to tighten the belt a bit.  Whether this means giving up a family home and downgrading to an apartment, trading in expensive cars for something that guzzles less gas, or simply eating more meals at home, we can all agree that having to give up the lifestyle to which we have grown accustomed is no fun.  But if you’re one of the many people looking for ways to further cut back on your spending, you have the means to do it without really having to give up the items you love.  And your grocery bill is one place where you stand to save a lot without having to trim much fat.  Here are a few ways to cut costs when it comes to visiting your local market.

  1. Discounts.  Of course we all know about the time-honored tradition of clipping coupons, but there are even better ways to get discounts on the foods you buy all the time.  For starters, you can opt for generic.  It is always similar to (and often exactly the same as) the brand name items you throw in your cart.  You could be spending a lot less for what is virtually the same thing.  You can also shop at a store that offers a free club card and then buy items only when they are on sale for members.
  2. Meat.  There’s no doubt about it; meat is a big part of most grocery bills.  But did you know that most people consume far more meat than they should?  Most nutritionists and doctors agree that unchecked meat consumption can lead to some unhealthy conditions, namely heart disease and diabetes.  In fact, the average person could be at risk if they eat more than two servings of red meat per week.  In addition, you can get all the protein you need with less expensive options like other animal products (milk, eggs, etc.) in combination with beans and whole grains.  So cut your budget by cutting back on meat.  Or if you’re not concerned with your health, simply find out when new shipments of meat come in since the store will usually drop prices to clear out old stock the day before.
  3. Freebies.  Many food manufacturers offer free trials of their wares (although you may have to fill out a survey to get them).  So log onto the websites of some of your favorite companies (Nabisco, General Mills, etc.) to see what they’re willing to send you.  Often, these freebies will also come with a coupon.
  4. Bulk stores.  If you have the room to store massive amounts of food (and you know it won’t go to waste), then there’s no good reason not to join a discount club that gives you great prices for buying in bulk (Costco is the prime example).  You will probably have to pay an annual fee, but if you go often enough, you will get that money back and more.
  5. Locals.  Don’t overlook local markets (especially farmers markets) as a way to get fresh produce for less money.  Since it is grown in the area, transport costs and handling fees are not added in with the price of the items (and often, merchants are willing to haggle).  So you stand to get the same great items (or even better) for a fraction of the cost…and you can support your neighbors in the community.

About the Author:  Emma Martin writes for J.G. Wentworth, the largest purchaser of future payments to individuals who hold assets in the form of structured settlement and annuities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>