Typical American and Grocery Shopping
In “Large Family Finances: How to Save Money on Groceries (Without Clipping Coupons and Eating Rice and Beans)” you will find common sense tips on how to shop at the grocery store that can help you save money while shopping.
Do you struggle with your grocery bill each month? Most Americans do.
Do you throw your hands up because you feel as if all you do is spend money on food to feed your family? If you do, you’re not alone.
How often do you go out to eat because you are overwhelmed about the thought of making food at home after a busy day at work? Most of us have been there.
Regardless of whether you’re feeding just yourself or a whole family, you probably find that groceries take a big bite out of your paycheck.
Food is the third-largest household expense, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. And for a family of four, the average monthly tab runs between $568 for the super thrifty to $1,293 for those on a more liberal budget, according to the USDA.
How to Save Money on Groceries
- Keep a stocked pantry with the basics.
- Make a menu and stick to it.
- Make a grocery list and stick to it.
- Shop sales and stock up. Many plan their weekly menu around what is on sale.
- Shop for the basics 2 times a month (produce more often). Shopping often leads to typically spending more money. The less you shop, the more you will save.
- Don’t buy processed food, junk food, or individual serving sized packets.
- Buy in bulk if possible, prepare, cook, and freeze.
- Soups, stews, and casseroles last a long time and make great leftovers, plus they are cheap to make.
- Shop at Aldi’s-if you have one near you. Hands down one of the best stores for our large family budget.
- Don’t use a credit card.
- Don’t buy prepackaged snacks or individual snacks, they cost more. Buy the big bags and divide them up.
- Buy the produce that is in season. You can save 30-50% on the price of produce that is in season.
- Buy meat in larger quantities. Cook it up at home, divide it, and freeze it in one pound portions. Pre-cooked meat is great on a busy day because you can thaw it out early in the morning and it will be ready for your evening meal.
- Don’t not allow food allergies, medical conditions, or other health issues to discourage you from trying to save money. My son has severe food allergies that we have dealt with for almost ten years. At one point we were eating dairy, egg, peanut, tree nut, and shellfish free in our house. We were able to do this and still stick to our grocery budget.
- If you have a farmers market in your town, try shopping there, it often is cheaper than the grocery store.
- Canned, frozen, or dried foods are often a great bargain, too.
- Shop on a full stomach. Shopping while you’re hungry can increase the amount you spend on groceries.
- Look high and low. Avoid the middle shelves and end caps. Companies pay to place products at your eye level—and your kid’s. Scan the top and bottom shelves instead as most of the time you’ll find the less expensive brands and best deals there
- Skip the deli, its rarely a good deal.
- Be leery of 10 for $10 sales, as they are often not a good deal.
- If a sale item you want is out of stock, be sure to get an IOU or rain check from the store.
- The larger the shopping cart can cause you to spend up to 40% more. And opting for those handheld baskets can be equally dangerous. Stick to mid-size carts, instead of the largest ones available.
- Avoid shopping when tired, stressed, or in a hurry….you will probably spend more money because you may be impatient and not capable of making rational decisions.
- If you do not know how to cook or bake, or don’t like it, take a class with a friend. You find that you actually do enjoy it.
- Store brands or off brands must adhere to the same standards that name brands, do, too. We have found that many store brands taste just as good or even better than name brands.
- Just because something is on sale does not mean you need to buy it, especially if you do not eat it or it will just sit in your pantry and go to waste.
- Shopping alone will usually save you money, too. However, if you must shop with you children, feed them ahead of time. They may be less likely to ask for food or snacks. Also, remember to harness of the power of saying “no” to anything unnecessary while shopping.
- Shop after holiday sales.
- Know the rock bottom prices of what you’re buying.
- The clearance aisle may be your best friend . Be sure to check it out when you’re shopping. Often you will find items that are marked up to 90% off their regular price.
- Pre-mixed kits of most grocery items are not a good deal, such as cake mixes or pancake mixes. Make your own from your well stocked pantry.
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