Save Money at Home: Part 3 – Save Money on Groceries

Posted in Spending by Kevin | Tags: , , , ,

This is the third installment in our “Save Money at Home” series. Refer back to the other posts for more ways to save money at home.

This series consists of the 4 posts below:

Part I- Save Money on Electronic Bills
Part II – Save Money on General Utilities
Part III- Save Money on Groceries
Part IV- Save Money on Clothes

Save Money On Groceries

The average family of four spends $244 a week on groceries. This translates to over $1,000 a month – a large expense for Americans that can become a very heavy burden if the times are tight. However, the good news is that wherever the spending is high, the saving potential is high too.

Everyone tries their best to save on food purchases, but making a significant difference on your budget is not easy. It takes skill and consistency to turn around years of habits. Personally, I feel like it takes real determination to avoid binge spending.

1) Buy The Groceries You Generally Use Ahead of Time, On Sale.
I learned this tip from a woman in a supermarket who practically bought two full carts of groceries for about ten dollars. Using coupons, promotions, and everything you could think of, she got so much savings that the clerk complimented her skill. I had to ask her what the secret to saving was and she told me she always bought things on sale and arranged her meal plans around what she had. She told me never to wait until you needed something to buy it, but buy it when its cheap. This tip has saved me a lot of money. Once a week, I check the fliers I receive in the mail, and do the shopping accordingly. My weekly spending dropped from $150 to $105.

2) Try the small ethnic stores for cheap groceries
You might know that Indian stores have great spices for a lower cost and that Latino ‘carnicerias’ have the best ranchera meat, for a fraction of the cost. Not only will you be delighted at the beautiful cultures in your neighborhood, you will save a bunch of money on groceries.

Inside an Indian Store

3) Avoid buying items placed next to the checkout.

If you want to waste money, buying these items is the way to do it. If you have any idea about marketing, you should know that most people spend a lot of their time waiting in the line, where they are incited to buy items from around the checkout. Single packed gums that cost 25 cents in a multi pack sell for three times as much compared to those placed individually.

4) Look Below Eye Level for Cheaper Goods
Usually the cheaper brands are on the lower shelves, away from the point of view. Next time, when you go to to a large grocery chain, look at your eye level and compare the prices to the ones below the line of sight. You will notice that the clearance and sales items below.

5) Buy Store Brands
Store brands are always cheaper and are usually the same quality as brand products. The difference in prices comes from the money that the brand names have to spend on promotions and marketing. This can translate to a huge price difference, helping you tack on more savings.

6) Eat before you go grocery shopping.
Studies have shown that people spend 10 – 15% more on groceries if they go to the store hungry. I know I spend more when I am hungry, binging on junk food, convenience foods, and other things I would usually not buy.

Check out the quality fruit and vegetables at a farmer market.

7) Check out the local farmer market.

The farmer market is a win-win for both parties. Not only will you get quality foods for a much lower price than the supermarket, you will also benefit local farmers who work hard to earn money. As a Pharmacy student, I have done lots of reading on the quality of the foods at farmers markets and regular chains and let me tell you, the food you will buy from a farmer is very healthy compared to anywhere else. Your local newspaper should have a farmer market. They are set up daily in larger cities and weekly in smaller ones.

Conclusion

If you follow a few of these tips, you will have much more money to save. I predict that following the best mix of these guidelines can save you $250 a month, for a total of $500 a month savings for a family of four a month.

These are some ways I save money when buying groceries, but I want to know what others do to save money. Are there some good tips I missed?


3 Comments to “Save Money at Home: Part 3 – Save Money on Groceries”

  • I agree with all 7 points.1) it she one that saves me the most money.  If something’s on sale, I  have no problem buying a 4 month supply of that item.  For example, boneless skinless chicken breast is about $4.99 a pound when not on sale but goes on sale for about 1.99 – when on sale I stock up and freeze.David M

  • Glad to see your already doing the biggest step….thanks for keeping up with the posts David! 

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    Great ideas! I like “Avoid buying
    items placed next to the checkout” those items are always overpriced. Two other
    ideas I like are to walk to the corner store when you need one item. The other
    is something I love to do grow your own. I cannot stand store produce any more
    and work like crazy to get my garden to produce for as long as I can get it to
    produce.

     

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