They're some of the only things you must buy. You might love grocery shopping, see it as a challenge, or you may dislike it because it's hard to look out for bargains while dealing with your children. No matter what you think of grocery shopping, it's something that must be done, and be done regularly.
Fortunately, there are some easy ways to save money when shopping. It's part organization, part research and part persistence.
Be organized when you go shopping. You may not enjoy making menus for the week, but it's a great way to ensure you don't overbuy on items that will spoil. Check out the menu planner at http://www.thehomeschoolmom.com/kitchen/ or make your own. Before you start planning your menu, make sure you go through your coupons and grocery store ads so that you can include the current bargains available to you. If it isn't too inconvenient, some parents save money by shopping at more than one store, but make sure you don't have to drive too far just to save 30 cents.
It's a good idea to know what a good price on foods is. It's part organization and part research. Keep track of what you're paying for various foods in a log. That way, you know if a special is particularly good and if you should stock up that week.
You may be loyal to a particular brand, but do you have to be? If you are willing to switch brands, you can save far more than if you stick with a single brand. Also, do not assume the bigger package is always a better deal. Check the cost per unit on everything you buy, especially if one size is on sale.
Make sure you are using your coupons wisely. You may actually get a better deal buying the smallest size the coupon allows, when you compare the per unit cost, than you would in buying the larger item. Coupons are available just about anywhere. Before printing coupons off the internet, however, make sure you check with your store's policy on acceptance. Due to fraud, not all stores accept online coupons anymore. Call or email manufacturers for coupons, check your local newspaper and mail, or even join coupon trading groups online. Another trick is to know when your meat counter marks down meat further and be ready to take advantage.
If you can afford the space, consider purchasing an additional freezer to stock up on especially good deals. This will add to your electric bill, of course, but if used wisely you can store a great deal of great deals. Be sure to rotate the foods you freeze to avoid spoilage. Meats and cheeses tend to freeze well; other foods may require preparation.
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