This is a topic that is near and dear to me. I spent the first 2+ years on this site as a coupon/deals site, so I know a thing or two about saving at the grocery store. I have taught a grocery savings class in my neighborhood and am passionate about saving money at the grocery store.
The number one piece of advice I can give you is to shop the sales and USE COUPONS! If money is tight for you and you are not using coupons at the grocery store, you are a fool. Yep, I said it. Why? Because when you use coupons, you're using clipped pieces of paper instead of money to pay for your groceries! What a concept!
I routinely get drugstore items and occasionally even get groceries for 100% free with coupons. If free personal care items and groceries doesn't get your attention, then you might be at the wrong blog.
Let's get specific though.
Make a list of your rock bottom prices. Prices that you know are good enough to buy. When you see items at that price or lower, buy them. Buy a lot of them. Find out which items you can get cheaper at Costco or other wholesale stores and which items are actually a better deal in smaller quantities with coupons. For example: we always buy produce, beer and cheese at Costco because coupons are hard to find for those items and Costco has them at great prices. However, we don't buy our coffee creamer from there because Coffee-Mate puts out coupons all of the time for their creamer, plus stores put it on sale too. We routinely get creamer for about half of what it would cost at Costco.
Knowing what you should pay for items and setting goals will help you reduce your grocery budget. So have an idea of what a "buy price" is and what not-so-good prices are.
Grocery Saving Websites:
These bloggers actually look at the ad each week and match the deals with current coupons to save you even more!
MashupMom.com (Dominicks, ALDI, Butera, Meijer, Kroger, Ultra, Jewel, More)
MyLitter.com (Kroger, Giant Eagle, Publix, HEB, Randalls)
SouthernCaliSaver.com (Ralphs, Albertsons, FoodsCo, Vons, Stater Bros.)
Other things you can do to save:
- Bring your re-usable bag. Most stores will give you a nickel per bag.
- Take a look at expiration dates. The last thing you want to do is find out you bought an expired pack of Cheez-Its or milk that is coming up on its expiration date.
- Check the clearance sections for meat. If you plan on cooking that night, this is a great place to get awesome deals on markdown meat. Same thing goes for bakery items.
- Stick to your list. This will help you avoid impulse buys, which are usually higher in price.
- Check your receipt. Make sure your items rang up at the right price, your coupons came off and everything looks correct.
Saving at the grocery store is easy if you do the little things. Shop the sales. Use coupons. Look for markdown items. Just shop smartly and know that little savings add up VERY quickly at the grocery store.