Saturday, October 1, 2011

How to Stretch Your Food Dollars!

Anymore you need a strategy before doing grocery shopping if you plan to stay within your budget.  Otherwise, you could easily overspend more than you allocated for food without knowing it.  However, you can do a few simple things to help cut your grocery bill to save more money.

To start, you should take advantage of using coupons.  Clipping the items that you use from the Sunday newspaper is a great way to begin. 

Another wonderful way to get coupons is online from sites such as coupons.com or smartsource.com where you can print them out at home to take with you to the store.  The only pitfall about using online coupons is that not all grocery stores accept them.  You need to check  stores as to their policies regarding online coupons individually in your own area.

Organize a coupon swap with your friends is also helpful.  For instance, your family may like one particular butter that several of your friends may hate.  Nonetheless, you can trade for something like dog food coupons because you do not have a dog, etc.

The next time you visit your local library, you can suggest a coupon box would be a wonderful service for your community.  Get a clean shoe box and donate all the unexpired coupons you want to share with others.  Glue a sign such as Free Coupon Exchange--Add and Replace to the box to encourage others to get involved.

It is always a good idea to check your refrigerator and pantry to see what you need before hitting the grocery store.  I like to make a list first.  This way you won't duplicate buying extra that may spoil if it's a perishable.

Your favorite grocery store is having a sale.  Before you put those 10 pasta sauces in your shopping cart that is on sale for $10 or $1.00 each  find out if you must buy all 10 first.  Often, you can buy a few of what you need for $1.00 each instead.

Some stores will double, triple or use both a manufacturer's coupon along with their own store coupon for excellent savings.  You need to find out how the stores in your area work this type of coupon policy also.

If at all possible, do try to leave your young children with a relative when you have to visit the grocery store.  Children are too easily tempted by bright boxes of pre-sweetened cereals with prizes and other less than nutritious items, which are overly expensive.

When you come armed with a grocery list, you can be more organized as to what goes in your cart.  Learn the aisles of your store and walk only down the ones with items from your list.  Train yourself to only be looking for things you wrote on your list--nothing more.

Watch for specially marked boxes for added savings.  Look for something like in this box you get 25-percent more of the dog food for the same price for instance or an attached sample.

Turning to generic line of products is cheaper and often just as flavorful or better in some cases than the name brands.

Do check the endcaps at the store.  Often, this is where the store keeps their special purchases or sale products. 

Finally, do compare sizes of products for the unit price.  Buying the largest size is often not the most economical way to go when you compare.

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