Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Easy Tips to Save on Grocery Shopping

By Dawn Antestenis, our Expert on Frugal Living, Fresh Start

As the cost of a weekly grocery shop seems to rise here are a few tips to keep the costs down and still eat a nutritious delicious diet at home with your family.

Tip One:  Prepare a List

Prepare a weekly shopping list that centers around your family’s favorite tried a tested recipes.  Keep this list in your purse so whenever you find yourself at the grocery store you have something to refer to that will help you stay on task and will avoid those costly impulse purchases!

Tip Two:  Stock up on Staples

Stock up on staple items that can be used in multiple recipes.  You can find downloadable pantry lists online or write your own list of staples that you use on a weekly basis – keeping stocked up on these items means your cupboards are never bare and there is always something you can rustle up for the family at short notice!!

Some pantry staples include: olive oil; vinegar; salt and pepper; spices; canned tuna; canned beans; chicken broth; tomato paste; rice; pasta; flour; potatoes; garlic; onions…And for the fridge: butter; milk; eggs; plain yogurt; cheese…And for the freezer: peas; spinach; and bread!

Tip Three: Ditch the Brands

You may have noticed those rather large bags of non-brand cereals at your local grocery store.  Buying no-brand items saves $!

Tip Four: Shop Around

Yes it can take a lot of work but shopping around to find out where you can get the cheapest groceries really is worth the effort.  Take your prepared list and visit 3 different local grocery stores, your local farmers market, and any other local food suppliers in your neighborhood.  Do an actual shop or do a walk round and put virtual prices next to your list to find out once and for all where is cheapest.

Tip Five: Sourcing Cheap Organic Groceries

Organic groceries can seem overwhelmingly expensive in the large stores…however local farmers markets and vegetable basket delivery groups can keep costs down.  Go online and research if there are any local distributors of produce baskets in your area.  Bountiful Baskets is a food coop delivering across the US.

Tip Six: Beware of Coupons

Couponing is on the rise and it is true it will save you $ if you do it right.  But beware, you may end up buying products that you don’t need and wouldn’t normally buy for your family.  And you may even end up spending more, especially with deals that save you $1 if you buy 3!!  If you want to get into the world of couponing spend some time researching sources of coupons online to avoid the pitfalls and genuinely save $ on the items you really need.

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