As gas prices go up, so does the price of food, and families everywhere are starting to feel the pinch. Whereas frugal living was once a fad, for many, it’s quickly becoming a necessity. The good news is that there are a number of ways to save money on groceries, and you can use one or all of them every time you visit the store. If you’re having trouble making ends meet, then give these five strategies a try. You’ll be surprised at how much you can save.
Clipping coupons are the classic way to save money on groceries and still one of the best. While the average coupon may save you anywhere from 25 cents to $1 when you multiply that by 100 items, the savings can add up quickly. In addition to the coupons you receive in the mail, you can look online for printable coupons for specific items that you’d like to buy. To some people, this may sound like a lot of trouble, but if you’re going to buy an item anyway, then you might as well use a coupon and save yourself some cash. You can find the best online coupons at DontPayFull.
Buy in Bulk
If you’ve been thinking of buying groceries in bulk, then now is the perfect time to start. Buying in bulk not only saves you money on each item you buy but saves you money on gas as well. Fewer trips to the grocery store mean more money in your pocket, and that’s the whole idea. To get the best prices on everything from toothpaste and shampoo to canned goods and soda, try shopping at places like Costco or Sam’s Club. Just remember to bring a list as the low prices can tempt you to buy a lot of things you don’t need.
The next time you visit the grocery store, skip the brands you normally buy and make a point of buying the generic equivalents. Not only will you notice a drastic difference in prices, but you may find very little difference in quality. If you continue to prefer certain brands over others, that’s fine. Just remember that there’s no sense in paying more for a name when a store brand may be just as good. If you don’t like a particular item, then you can always switch back to your favorite brand.
Eat at Home
Gas, tips and high menu prices combine to make eating at restaurants an expensive way to go. If you’re someone who typically dines out several times per week, then you can save a lot of money by eating at home. The key here is to focus on cooking as a fun activity rather than a chore. Remember, you don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen making everything from scratch. You can cook canned or instant foods or use the microwave. If you order a lot of pizza, then buying a frozen brand can save you hundreds of dollars per year.
Plant a Garden
If you’ve avoided buying fruits and vegetables due to the high prices, then planting a garden can be a good alternative. Most fruits and vegetables require very little care beyond the occasional watering, and the choices are practically limitless. For a few dollars worth of seeds, you can supply your family with all the fresh produce they care to eat. There’s no better way to save on groceries than by growing them yourself.
If you’re shocked by today’s food prices, then follow the strategies that smart shoppers use every day. Your wallet will thank you.