Making Those Grocery Dollars Count!
Its nothing new – most of us have no idea how much we are spending at the grocery store. Oh yea, we can tell you what it cost us our last visit but at the end of the month we have no idea where all the money has went.
All of us need some help in this area.This is one area of your spending plan where you are susceptible to over spending. Along with dining out and other areas, our money just seems to fly away when spending on groceries.There are ways to manage that spending. Some say that it is too much work, but others – those who are managing their money and getting ahead – find that a little effort goes a long way in managing our grocery money each month.
Try these steps for one month and see if it does not help you better manage your grocery spending.
- Plan out your meals – spend some time as a family planning your meals for the next week or two. Outside of the family time together, it helps you plan a menu that you can use to move to the next step.
- Make a grocery list – from your new menu, see what you have on hand and build a list that keeps you focused on what you should be purchasing. If you can, build your list that flows through the layout of the grocery store you frequent. Most of us have been there so many times we could tell you what aisle any product is in. Having our list helps speed up our visit too.
- Avoid multiple trips – do you find yourself visiting the store every other day? That is another way to help us spend too much. While some things need to be purchased timely (dairy products, fruits, vegetables, etc.), most things can be purchased and stored for our use.
- Prepare your meals – we spend a great deal of money buying prepared foods – foods that need to be heated or even microwaved for convenience and speed. These are expensive. Avoid and prepare your own meals at home.
- Don’t go hungry! – we have heard that for years, but it is true. We spend more on an empty stomach. Just the other day, I had completed my list and still found myself looking for more to buy – all because I was shopping on empty.
- Buy generic – Many have a “fear” of generics. My family did. I encouraged them to go to their favorite restaurant and see who’s food they are buying. Outside of the condiments sitting on the table, most of the food coming in is generic and it is prepared to meet the taste that you love. You can do the same thing. In many cases, the name brand manufacturers are making and relabeling the generic and store brand.
- Buy in bulk – when cost effective and you have a place to store it. Typically, you can find discounts on paper products, etc. when you buy in bulk.
- Advertised specials vs. marketing layouts – Stores layout their products to get you to buy on impulse. Those displays at the end of the aisles, and those down the “specials” aisle are not always the best buy. They know you are looking and put that there for “your convenience”. Compare before you buy and buy the best deal.
- Use coupons – coupons are great. Find all you can and use them on every visit. If you can find stores that still do double and triple coupons use them. Coupons are still being mailed and printed in the weekly newspapers. Check out the links below to find great coupons online – right from your computer!
- Pay cash – paying cash from your grocery envelope helps you stay within your spending plan. Once it is gone, it is gone. Paying cash, psychologically, helps you better manage your grocery expe
nditures. Give it a try!
All of these steps will help you become a better shopper and better manager of your money. We can all use all the help we can find. Maybe you have some secrets that help you stay focused. We would love to hear your tactics. Use the reply button to share!Try these coupon sites:www.coupons.comwww.q-pons.comwww.hotcoupons.comwww.coolsavings.comwww.valpak.comwww.thefrugalshopper.comwww.couponcart.com