10 Tips for Saving Grocery Money

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  1. Match your coupons with items already on sale: This can seem like you’re doubling your savings! Cans of kidney beans on sale this week? Use that coupon to save even more.
  2. Shop at more than one store: This will cost you a little in gas, unless you can walk or ride a bike, but the savings are likely worth it. Go not only to different stores, but to different store brands altogether. Went to Kroger yesterday? Today check out that Fresh Market. What’s on sale will vary from store to store each week. Maybe one place has Pepsi on sale, but another store will have Coke on sale.
  3. Buy a newspaper: At least while newspapers are still around. The couple of bucks you plop down for that Sunday paper can almost always be recouped through the many coupons found inside. And in most towns, the grocery store circulars (those weekly 4 to 6 page pullout sections showing what a store has for sale) usually run in most daily papers on Wednesday or Thursday.
  4. Buy fruits and vegetables when in season: They’ll be cheaper then, and you can freeze the fruits and vegetables to use later.
  5. Try to stay away from prepackaged foods: I’m especially talking about those already prepared meal-in-a box thingies. You know what I’m talking about. Those boxes that come with crackers and ham slices and cheese and maybe a pudding. And those frozen dinners that include a meat and maybe corn, mashed potatoes and a roll or dessert if you’re lucky. Not only are those meals not healthy for you, but they cost a bunch of money. Yes, they’re convenient, but we’re trying to save money here.
  6. Drink water: It’s cheap at home and readily available from the tap. If you don’t quite trust drinking water from the tap, get a Brita filter or something similar. Yes, you do have to pay for water used at home, but it’s much, much, much cheaper than those soft drinks and juices and milks from the store.
  7. Buy the store brands:Some of you will complain the quality isn’t as good. You’re letting the label fool you. Yes, the quality of store-brand items might not be top-of-the-line, four-star material, but it’s still as good as many of the name brand products. In fact, often it is the very same item as a name brand product, the store has just been allowed or paid to put their label on the package. Stores are willing to do this because enough people will search out the cheaper deals to make it worth the stores’ while.
  8. Save those expired coupons: Yes, the expired coupons. But this one only works in some areas. Some stores will accept expired coupons, or they’ll have a special day or week every so often where they’ll take expired coupons. Some Cub Foods will do this.
  9. Look for coupons online: For some reason, plenty of people seem to forget this one. There are tons and tons of free coupons available on the Internet. Sometimes you have to go to a particular companies Web site and sign up with them to receive a coupon or coupons, but there are other, general Web sites that offer all kinds of coupons. My favorite is coupons.com.
  10. Be flexible: You’re in mood for fish this week, but the turkey burgers are on sale? Buy the turkey burgers. You’re going to have to sacrifice if you truly want to save money. Hankering for cheddar cheese, but have a coupon for American? Buy the American; the cheddar will be on sale eventually and you can get it then, or better yet, you’ve already got cheddar at home because you bought it last week when it was on sale.
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