Trim your food bill by as much as 19 percent
simply by shopping at a couple of different stores.
cook." Shopping after work for the day's dinner gets expensive. Plan a weekly
menu before shopping and watch your grocery bill shrink.
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Don't waste money on prepared foods. Instead, prepare meals ahead
of time and freeze them, or double a recipe when cooking, and freeze
the second for a hectic day coming up.
Don't be fooled by familiar products, such as cereal, that have
decreased package sizes while keeping prices constant, the food
industry's latest response to rising costs.
Take the farmer's market approach: Buy produce
that's fresh, inexpensive and in season. With less middlemen involved, you get
good buys and your family gets the freshest food.
The highest markup items
on the shelves are at about chest level. Reach up or kneel down to select the
cheaper house or generic brands.
A grocery store's main aisles, like the
paths to milk and bread, are usually strewn with high-priced land mines. Avoiding
those pricey areas will really help.
Try to shop when you're alone. Those
little helpers can quickly boost your bill.
Shop early in the day. You
get through the store faster with your list and spend less.
for food when you're hungry; you'll buy more.
Don't grocery shop when
you're tired, you'll buy more sweets, more high-carbohydrates. When you're angry
you go for crunch food, the junk food.
Buy on the markdowns and save as
much as 20 percent.
Read your newspaper's weekly food section for local
grocery sales and menu ideas.
Clip coupons. You'll also find coupons
in women's and general-interest magazines.
Scout coupon swap-boxes, generally
found at (surprise!) supermarkets, but also at some public libraries.
advantage of in-store coupon displays and the machines that spew them.
on to your supermarket's online home page for coupons.
Call the toll-free
numbers on your favorite products' labels and tell the customer-service rep how
much you enjoy them. Some reps will offer cents-off (or even free) coupons for
the product itself; if not, ask.
Nab a newsie. Does your newspaper vendor
just dump the inserts in unsold papers at the end of the day? If so, would he
mind tossing a few your way?
Check out the wealth of national-brands
coupon-offering services on the Web. They can save you money -- even the ones
that charge nominal fees.
Seek out supermarkets that will double -- some
super stores even triple -- the face value of manufacturers' coupons.
for triple plays. That's when you use a manufacturer's coupon and a store's own
Some retailers guarantee that if the item doesn't ring up at
the correct price, you get it for free or at a discount. Pay attention to the
Avoid purchasing nongrocery items, such as painkillers, contact
lens solution, etc., at a grocery store. You usually pay more.
get a rain check if a sale item is gone.
Know when your store marks down
goods that expire, like meat and bread. The deal: Use them that night or freeze
Check your store for a small section where they discount products
that aren't as popular as the manufacturer had hoped. This area can be a gold
mine for bargains.
Shop with a calculator. That way, you can figure whether
the unit price for a case lot is really cheaper than buying one of the same item.
price matching. Find a store in your area that will honor all competitors' ads.
You'll save money, time and gas.
Beware of "discount store syndrome."
Just because you're in a bargain store doesn't mean you're getting the best price
on every item.
Check your receipts. No matter how careful you or the
store staff might be, mistakes happen.
Always send in for the rebate
on a purchase whether it's $2 or $50. It all adds up.
Put your savings
to work. Whether it's a trip, a car or a savings account, have some specific goals
for the money you're not spending on food.