Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Those Pesky Grocery Bills

Wanna save some of that money that you're spending for all those vittles that go into your tummy? Want to do it without having resort to eating road kill? If so, check out the following tips.

~ First of all, get a membership to Sam's Club, Costco, or something along those lines. Generally speaking, in wholesale or warehouse clubs, you'll find better values on items. Items that are particularly good values include paper products (napkins, tp or paper plates), milk, laundry detergent, cheese, condiments, butter or margarine, and ice cream.

~ Use coupons. And I don't mean just now and then, either. I mean religiously. Some online sources for coupons include thegrocerygame.com, and mommysavesbig.com.

~ Sales, sales, sales! Need I say more? Check out mygrocerydeals.com and couponmom.com for the inside scoop on what's on sale, when, and where. If chicken is on sale, don't opt for the steak that isn't. Also, don't be afraid to look at the "reduced" section - we've gotten $12 or $15 dollar steaks for half price or less, and they still have a few days until the use by date. They're great for grilling!

~ Shop online and have your groceries delivered. I know, I know, you're wondering how that particular nugget will save you money, right? Yeah, you'll pay a delivery fee on top of your grocery bill, but by not shopping yourself and only buying what's on the list, you're not wandering the aisles and making impulse purchases, and that will save you some precious cash. And even if you're not buying online, STICK TO YOUR LIST! All those little extras are what cost you.

~ Don't take the kids along and don't browse. Shoppers with children (teenagers, too) in tow spend 10% to 40% more than solo shoppers or those who are 'in and out' shoppers.

~ Buy fruits and veggies that are in season. If it's January and you want fresh strawberries, many times those strawberries are grown in more tropical locales and have to be shipped in. The best prices on seasonal produce are often found at your local farmer's market.

~Use it or lose it. Every now and again, forget the shopping trip and empty the freezer and pantry instead. Put the extra cash in a savings account and earn money instead of spending it. Besides, nothing is worse than having to toss steaks or chicken just because they got pushed behind the box of popsicle's that've been in the freezer since last summer.

~ Use cash instead of credit. With cash, there's a set limit that you can't go beyond. Unfortunately, that limit isn't quite so concrete when it comes to credit or debit cards. Credit users often spend 20% to 30% more than those who use cash, and you wouldn't want to fall into that category, would you?

~ Last but possibly most importantly, cook. I don't mean peel the plastic off, throw it in the microwave and nuke it. I'm talking about actually cutting up some veggies, adding a little spice, a little meat if you like, and putting it into an oven, a skillet or throwing it on the grill. Using raw or fresh ingredients to cook meals are less expensive than buying pre-packaged, frozen, or fast food. Not to mention, it's healthier, too.

Good luck!

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