How to Shop at the Grocery Store on a Budget

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Becoming a master at saving at the grocery store is a great skill to learn no matter what your budget; but during these times of recession it is a skill that we all need to learn. Money saved can afford extra activities such as going to the movies, visiting a museum or the zoo; or just putting the savings in the bank for hard to pay bills. Many of us are giving up our daily Starbucks and other “extras”, so why not find the money for the special items from savings at the grocery store. Do not worry; you do not have to do without just know “how” to shop!!

First Set a budget. Decide how much you can afford or would like to spend each week. Preplan meals for the week if possible and make a list. 

 j0408947_Thumb.jpg Next Plan your shopping. Each week, usually Wednesday’s your local paper will have all of the grocery store ads which display the week’s savings. Although the paper will cost you approximately 50 Cents, you will save much more by doing your research! Plan a day to shop, allow enough time to hit several shops if needed. Researching each add and determine with stores have the best sales. Note which stores double or even triple coupons. Write a list for each store.

Try to Clip Coupons and Research Savings. The very best way to receive the bulk of coupons available is from your Sunday Newspaper. Clip coupons that you plan to use, but also clip ones that you may need in the future. Visit websites that offer printable coupons. Examples are www.eversave.com and www.coolsavings.com . If you are looking for specific items check the manufactures website. For example, if you plan to by Kellogg’s Cereal, go to the Kellogg’s website, they are usually offering printable coupons for $1.00 off. Purdue Chicken, Swifter, and many others offer coupons directly from their website.

Join or start a coupon swap group. Many communities offer coupon swaps. Everyone gets together once a week or monthly and swap coupons they do not want for coupons they will use. This is a win win for everyone that joins the group.

Become a Secret Shopper. The easiest organization and most reputable I have found is www.marketforce.com If you become a mystery shopper you are given the opportunity to shop at grocery stores for FREE groceries just for evaluating the store during your visit. You can choose 4 grocery stores in one day as a mystery shopper which will give you approximately $48.00 in FREE groceries or more the more you shop ($12 per shop). Add in your coupons and research and you will be walking out the door with way more than you spent in groceries!

Get a Bonus Card! Almost every store offers a Bonus Car for extra savings. These cards are free and usually the stores will then send additional coupons to your home. GET ONE!

 Know your store offers. Many grocery stores offer bonuses that everyone should take advantage of. Not all of these bonuses are well known, so ask!! Wegmans offers $200 in FREE groceries just for switching your prescriptions to their pharmacy. Wegmans has coupons at the serve desk that offers 2 FREE Items every week!!! Wegmans and Giant Food Stores offer Double Coupons everyday, so do many other stores. Giant Food stores offer 5 Cents off your bill per bag you bring in to bag your groceries. This is great for the environment too!

No More Brand Loyalty! Forget your favorite brands. Usually the store brands are made from the same manufacturers as the big name brands, they are usually the same quality and much cheaper!

All of these saving together might take a little time to get used to and research, but in the long run, you will be smiling all the way to the bank!!

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