Created on: September 06, 2011
As the cost of your grocery basket soars in price each week, more of your disposable income goes towards keeping pace with rising food prices. If you want to get your household budget back on track it pays to look for easy ways to make savings at the grocery store.
One of the simplest ways to control spending is to think ahead and plan meals for the week, adding only the items needed to create your culinary masterpieces, to a shopping list. When you step in the store, ensure you have no hunger pangs to influence you into impulse buys that look especially tasty and tempting. Instead aim to dash through the store as quickly as you can, adding only the items on your list to your basket.
This advice comes with the caveat of keeping your eyes peeled to any special offers on regular staples that represent a genuine saving, which you would usually buy. Be prepared stock up in bulk where real savings can be made.
When you enter the store with a list comprising the items you need to buy, steer away from processed foods and ready meals. The meals you plan should be geared to seasonal produce to take advantage of lower prices. If you shop with the plan of buying extra of fresh seasonal foods which can be cooked and frozen, you save money in the long run. This can also reduce the cost of next weeks shopping basket as you know there is a plentiful supply of home cooked meals waiting in the freezer, which in turn reduces the reliance on fast food for convenience.
If you haven’t already switched from name brands to generic brands, now is the time to experiment. Often there is no difference and a substantial saving can be made. Everyone has some regular favourites they don’t want to give up but trying out a less expensive brand could produce a pleasant surprise.
Take advantage of supermarket loyalty cards to accrue points to redeem on future shopping forays. Paying for groceries with a cash back credit card is another good choice providing you clear the balance in full each month. Over the course of a year the cumulative one or two percent cash back should at least equal a free shopping trip in the grocery store. Naturally these methods can be combined with using coupons, but only use them towards items you would have purchased anyway.
Finally a really good tip is to check out the contents of your store cupboards, pantry and freezer before heading off to the grocery store. Itemizing what is already on hand and planning to incorporate those items into your next weeks meals can really reduce the amount you spend on your next grocery expedition. After all, how many times do you return with your grocery purchases to find you already had a good supply of items you have just purchased?
Learn more about this author, Katerina Nikolas.
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