In 2013, make it your resolution to save more money at the grocery store by following these simple tips.
Get the generic or store brand whenever possible
Most of the time, the ingredients in a store brand are the same as the name brand—only less expensive. The same manufacturer that produces the name brand often makes the generic as well.
Buy fresh, not prepackaged
According to Real Simple, Consumer Reports found that in one store, two pounds of carrots cost $1.29, whereas $7.16 was charged for the same weight in precut sticks. Buy prepackaged foods only when necessary.
Shop for produce in season
Items like corn can cost 10 cents per ear in the summer. But in winter, each ear can cost a dollar. Check local ads for seasonal produce and look at sale prices in the store before putting items in your cart.
Become an expert ad searcher
Scour your mailings for local stores that have deals. Cut coupons and don’t forget to bring them to the store with you. Some grocery stores offer a low-price guarantee. If you find a lower price in a competitor’s ad, bring in the ad and the store will match that price.
Buying in bulk can save you money, but wholesale stores have other perks as well. Members can often get their cars serviced while they’re shopping, and some even offer discounts on prescription glasses. See what the clubs have to offer and if there is a location close to you.
Take a good look around to see what items you have on hand. Plan a menu for the week based on what’s on sale and what you have at home—then stick to that menu while at the store.
Shop after a snack
If you shop hungry, you’re more likely to make impulse purchases such as cookies and snack foods that aren’t on your list. If you shop after a big meal, you may not get enough food for the week, or leave out items, because you are so full.
Use your freezer
If you purchase or cook a large quantity of food, store it in a sealed bag or container and place it in the freezer with the date on it. If you bought loaves of bread on a two-for-one deal at the grocery store, eat one loaf and freeze the other immediately.
Do you have shopping tips you’d like to share? Post a comment and let us know!