Friday, April 8, 2011

How to save money on groceries

Did you watch Extreme Couponing this week? If so you saw people buying thousands of dollars of merchandise and paying only $20 - $100. Unfortunately that is not very realistic for most of us. For one thing who has the space to store it all! You'll notice also that if you looked in their carts most of the things they bought are probably not on your weekly shopping list to feed your family.

That said there are ways that the average shopper can make significant savings on what you usually eat.

1. Buy the Sunday paper. You should receive up to three coupon inserts every week. Click here to find other ways to get coupons. 

2. Plan your weekly menu before you go to the store and write a list. This cuts down on impulse buys. When planning your menu use the information below.

3. Get the sales flyer each week before you go to the store. Sometimes these are enclosed in your Sunday paper or in mailings to your home. They also may be available on-line on your store's website. Every week my local grocery chain has certain meats that they have on sale. I generally only buy those meats on that week. For example if chicken is on sale one week I might buy some to cook that week and some to freeze for the next few weeks. The next week it may be beef. Then I will look through the flyer to see if I have coupons for any of the items they have on sale. If it is an item that I will probably use in the next few weeks then I'll buy it then using my coupon. If you shop at Ralphs you can check the blog every Friday for a list of flyer items that you can buy with coupons. If not, you can take a look at for a list for your local store.

4. If your store has a loyalty card program, join it. My local store offers money off a wide range of products just for using their store loyalty card.

5. Many grocery store chains will double the value of your coupon up to a dollar. For example if you have a coupon for $0.55 off they will take $1 off your total. Check with your local store to see if they do this.

6. Most items will go on sale about every 8 weeks so you really only need to stock up on enough of one item to get you to the next sale. No need for 500 rolls of toilet paper in your garage!

7. Never buy toiletries at the grocery store. They are almost always more expensive there than at a pharmacy chain like Rite Aid or Walgreens. Each Sunday I show you on the blog how to save some pretty significant amounts on these items. 

8. And of course the big one....don't shop hungry. You know that monster size pack of Twinkies looks REALLY good when you haven't had lunch!

Check out this week's savings at Ralphs here

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