Monday, February 2, 2009
The average person spends $3,400 per year on groceries, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Multiply that for a family of four – or more – and food costs can take a bite out of the family budget almost as large as the mortgage.
No matter how much you spend on food, chances are you could spend less. Use these tips to give your household a monthly raise by lowering your grocery expenditures.
1. Brand-name vs. generic
Generic brands are great for ingredients like pasta noodles, frozen vegetables or butter. For items like cereal or salad dressing, incorporate items gradually so you and your family don’t feel deprived of your preferred brands. Always compare the cost per ounce, since some national brands cost the same as generic counterparts.
Clipping coupons can ring up savings, but you have to invest some time, says Kathy Peel, author of “The Busy Mom’s Guide to a Happy, Organized Home.” She suggests starting with one to two coupons per week, since “habits always start small.” Stick to brands you know and products you need or you could end up spending more money. Be sure to take advantage of your store’s double- or triple-coupon days.
3. Buying in bulk
Consumer Reports studies show shoppers consistently save money buying in bulk at warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s Club. However, a bulk box of cereal isn’t a good buy if half of it goes stale and uneaten. Frozen meat or veggies make great bulk purchases because you can freeze them for later use. Nuts are another long-lasting bulk staple.
Like coupons, sales only save you money if you stick to products you already use. If you haven’t already, sign up for your grocery store’s loyalty card to take advantage of members-only coupons and savings. Consumer Reports recommends scouting www.mygrocerydeals.com to see what’s on sale at stores in your area.
5. Don’t shop hungry
When your stomach is empty, your eyes are drawn to items you don’t need, especially more expensive packaged snack foods. Grocery stores are laid out specifically to tempt you to buy these sorts of items, and a full stomach is your first line of defense. If your stomach is growling, make sure you have a quick snack before heading off to shop.
6. Make a menu
If you shop once a week, take the time to plot all the meals and snacks you will be making before your grocery run. Not only will this help you avoid unnecessary purchases, but you can save money by coordinating ingredients. For example, if you buy a bunch of celery to make chicken soup, top extras with peanut butter for the next day’s snack, or combine with extra chicken for chicken salad.
7. Make a list
A list prevents you from wandering the aisles and buying whatever items look good at the time. Peel suggests adding an item to your list as soon as you run out. Knowing in advance that you need more ketchup means you won’t run back to the store for it later and risk buying unnecessary items.
8. Mind your meat
Peel estimates you save 25 to 30 percent when you slice beef or pork tenderloins into filets yourself, or buy whole loin to cut into chops. Lean meat is a savvier purchase than cheaper cuts with lots of excess bone and fat. Boneless and skinless chicken breasts are expensive, but Peel says they are a better buy since you’re not paying for parts you will discard.
9. Shop with a small cart
If there is less room in your cart, you are less likely to add items you don’t absolutely need. Or use a shopping basket. Having the weight of your purchases hanging from your arm will make you think twice about that liter of Coke or can of fancy olives.
Sources: Consumer Reports; “The Busy Mom’s Guide to a Happy, Organized Home”; U.S. Department of Agriculture Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Coupon clippers click away for deals
- By Kristen Kridel |Tribune reporter
- December 25, 2008
"We make it a little bit easier," said Paul Davis, chief executive officer of mygrocery deals.com, which helps consumers find grocery sales at some 270 retail chains. "This is a fabulous way of saving money. Many say they save up to $200 or $400 a month."
A number of grocery Web sites track the best sales, sort coupons and even calculate savings with a few mouse clicks. Most are free.
The sites help shoppers find grocery sales by store, brand and specific product. Others, including coupon mom.com and grocery guide.com, offer directories so shoppers can find the exact coupons they're looking for in their newspapers.
canadianchains.com — mygrocerydeals.com using retail flyers and circulars to save money for grocery shoppers. The flyers information is independently and unbiased. Mygrocerydeals dot com put together a determined and professional team that worked hard for close to a year to deliver this service to you. They want all grocery shoppers to save time and money.