By Guest Nicole
1) Take Inventory
Before you even go to the grocery store, it is important to look into your pantry and fridge to evaluate what you need to buy. Make a shopping list based on items you don't have or are running low on to ensure that you only buy necessary items at the grocery store. This exercise will help you stay on budget by making sure you don't spend money on anything extra or something you are already stocked up on.
2) Meal Plan With Coupons
Take a look at your local grocery store ads to see what's on sale for the week. Use the meats, veggies, fruits, and grains that are currently discounted to help inspire and plan out your meals for the week. Clipping and buying things with mostly coupons helps you get good deals on food throughout the week.
3) Avoid Pre-Cut Meat
Buy a large cut of meat and ask the butcher to cut it for you. This butcher's secret ensures you will get more bang for your buck and enjoy fresh meat at the same time. Use all the cuts of meat to make different dishes like roasts and steaks.
4) Buy Frozen Seafood
The seafood counter that stocks fresh seafood charges 40% more than when you buy it frozen. Frozen seafood is good quality and usually isn't any different from the fresh version, plus it's cheaper.
5) Consider a Home Delivery Service
Major grocery stores around the U.S. offer online grocery ordering and delivery. The prices (and sales) online are usually the exact same as they would be if you were to buy them in the actual grocery store. Plus, these services often include free deliveries, which means you can save your gas money and skip going to the store for the week.
6) Look at the Price Per Unit
Before you buy a certain brand of cereal, toilet paper, or meat, make sure you take a look at the unit price. Certain brands cost more than others per unit, which means that you are paying more and getting less. Take a few minutes to examine all your options before making a selection.
7) Buy Dairy at the Drugstore
Leave the milk in the supermarket and buy it at the drugstore instead. While drugstores do sell dairy products like milk and eggs, that's not their primary money-maker. Since that is the case, these products tend to be slightly cheaper and on sale more often than those at grocery stores.
8) Shop on a Full Stomach
It's a fact: you overspend when you're hungry. All the food in the grocery store looks more tempting when your stomach is rumbling, so make sure you shop on a full stomach to save money and stay on budget.
9) Buy the Generic Brand
Generic brands are the grocery store's copy of the product. These are pretty much always sold at a lower price than brand name items in the store. If you're not particularly tied to a certain brand, give the generic one a try to save some extra money.