Consumer Guide: Save Money At The Grocery Store

Tips on saving cash while buying groceries. Information on coupons, comparison shopping and other techniques and tricks.

For many people today a trip to the grocery store causes as much angst as that monthly mortgage payment. That does not need to happen. Most people greatly overspend at the grocery store, but after reading this article, you do not need to be one of those people.

1. Go with a purpose. This means having an idea about what you are going after. While some people balk at the idea of writing weekly menus, I encourage you to try it. By planning dinner out ahead of time, not only do you save time and money, but also it reduces a great deal of stress on a daily basis. If you try it for a week or so, and still do not care for it, then at least go into the store knowing what you need and what you have at home.

2. Do not shop when you are hungry or tired. Although the first is obvious, we have all gone to the grocery store starving and came home $200.00 poorer and still feeling that there wasn't anything to eat in the house, the second is also just as true. If you go to the grocery store while you are tired, you are more likely to purchase convenience food, forget staples, and make poor food choices just to hurry the trip along.

3. Look at the sales papers, but do not live by them. Look over the sales paper on Sunday, and see which stores look like they are having good sales on the type of foods that you eat. I am not a proponent of going to two or three grocery stores each week to get everything at the rock bottom price for several reasons. First, running from store to store to save a small amount of money adds up in the fuel that you use in your car. You also have to consider that your time is worth something. A last point to consider is that by frequenting one or two stores for your shopping, you become familiar to their lay out and can get in and out quickly and with less stress.

4. Do not be a slave to coupons. Look through the coupon papers every week, and cut out the ones for products that you will use or would like to try. If you use coupons for products that no one wants, you are not saving money.

5. Check the store brands. Many times the store brands are much more inexpensive that name brand products, and just as good. Experiment and find the store brand products that your families like, and potentially save big bucks there. Some good bets are cereals, crackers and cookies. These are nearly always the same products with a different package, and the savings are substantial.

By following these five suggestions, you should be able to save a substantial amount of money. If after trying one or two of the suggestions for several weeks you find it difficult, pass on it and try the others. Saving money at the grocery store is not an all or nothing proposition. Any amount that you save is better than nothing.

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