Food – the one thing that we all need on a daily basis. And of course because we all need it to survive it’s expensive. If you’re willing to put forth a little effort, you can save a lot of money and substantially cut down your grocery bill costs.
Coupons - Subscribe to your local paper and check out the coupon databases available online. Don't fall for the extreme couponing myth and feel as if you must clip each coupon - instead cut and/or print only the items you regularly purchase or are interested in trying. To save even more use your coupons when products are on sale and stack manufacturer coupons with store coupons where applicable.
Meal Planning - If chicken breasts are on sale, then you should break out the cookbook and plan to cook meals that are chicken based. Or perhaps you're trying to figure out what you can pack your little ones for lunch - check out the sales ad and plan their lunches around the fruits and vegetables that are on sale. Meal planning around sale items will help to cut down the overall grocery cost and help you answer the age old question of ‘what’s for dinner?’
Leftovers - Make the most out of your meals by packing the leftovers for lunch the next day. Instead of having to come out of pocket for lunch supplies, you'll already have a great meal to enjoy that's ready to go. You can even cook an extra meal at the beginning of the week and divvy it up for lunches during the work week.
Ingredients - For example, if you buy an entire bag of frozen broccoli, but the recipe only calls for one cup - instead of throwing the remainder out or freezing the rest and vow to use it, find another recipe to make during the week that also calls for broccoli. Using the entirety of an ingredient will reduce costs and help cut down on being potentially wasteful. If you have extra fruit or veggies from a dish, cut the remaining remnants up and throw together a fruit or vegetable tray that can serve as an after school or after work snack.
Stockpile - If you purchase an item when it’s on sale, opposed to only buying it at the time of need, you'll find that you'll save a great deal. There is a science behind the cycles in which sales are released. Sales come in waves and are usually during the same time each year. The rule of thumb, for a true saver, is to buy enough of an item while it’s on sale so that it gets you through to the next wave. Obviously, don’t purchase items you’ll never use. But, if you’re able to get enough of a product while it’s on sale, to carry you over you’ll save substantially.
Price Match - Get familiar with store policies and utilize the price matching option if it’s offered. In most instances all you will need is to show the sales circular, from the opposing store, to the cashier. Multiple items can be price matched, as long as there is proof to validate. Walmart has an app called the Savings Catcher app – make your purchase, scan your Walmart receipt, and then the app will scan circulars in your area for the products you’ve purchased. If the app finds a cheaper competitor price, they’ll refund you the difference and deposit the funds on a Walmart gift card to use at your next purchase.
Generic - Try purchasing the generic brand of an item whenever you can. You'll find that a lot of generic brands are substantially cheaper and in many cases you won't be able to tell the difference.