Saving Money at the Grocery Store

I am on a never-ending quest to save money at the grocery store. I am always looking for deals and thinking of healthy, tasty meals to make on a budget. While I am always trying to save money wherever we can, I refuse to make meals that lack nutrition or taste. You will not find any Top Ramen in our cabinet. If you are looking for some ways to save money at the grocery store, here are some of my tips.

1. Look for sales. Most big grocery stores have weekly sale fliers online. Check them out and start planning your meals around those items.

2. Compare prices. I pretty much know now where I can find the best prices on weekly staples.

3. Make the rounds. If it doesn’t mean driving all over town, don’t be afraid to visit more than one store for the best deals. Some weeks I go to 3 stores, but luckily they are all within a couple miles of each other and my house.

4. Shop once a week. This made a big impact on our grocery bills. We used to live next door to a super market in San Diego. Rather than making a list and shopping for the whole week, we would go to the store several times during the week and plan meals on the fly. That meant our grocery bills were at least double what they are now.

5. Plan. Plan your meals for the week so you don’t find yourself stopping by the store for that one thing you forgot. Whenever I stop by the store for one thing, I leave with 10!

6. Make your own coffee. I drink one cup of coffee everyday. And I drink 99% of that coffee at home. The price of coffee from coffee shops is nuts! A couple times a month I treat myself to coffee from a coffee shop, but other than that, it’s at home. I buy a container of beans at Trader Joes for $4 and it lasts me about a month.  That is the price of one latte from Starbucks! Even if you bought a cup of drip coffee from a coffee shop everyday for $1.50, that would be $45 a month, or $540 a year. Buying your own coffee and brewing it at home for $4 a month works out to $48 a YEAR. That means for the money you spend on drip coffee from Starbuck in ONE MONTH, you could make coffee at home for a year! Think what you could do with that extra $492 a year? Take a trip, save for retirement?

I also use a french press to make my coffee which means I save money on buying filters for a coffee pot!

7. Set a budget. A weekly or month grocery budget will help you keep your spending in check.  I try to keep our budget to $75-$100 a week for 3 people. Some weeks are more when we need to stock up on items that aren’t weekly purchases, but for the most part, $75 is doable with a little bit of planning.

8. Stock up. Other than fresh produce, most foods can be frozen. Take advantage of shopping in bulk. Buy One Get One Free sale at the market? Stock up now!

Do you have any money saving tips for grocery shopping?

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