These days everything seems more expensive. Add inflated prices for consumer goods to the growing unemployment rate and what you have is a lot of people trying to save money any way they can. Certain expenses we can easily cut from our budgets, but food is not one of them. We have to eat, but there are some ways to cut your grocery bill and save money.
You've probably heard this before but never go shopping on an empty stomach. When you are hungry nearly everything looks good and you are much more likely to fill up your cart on items that are unnecessary. If you shop after eating, you will be less tempted to add that costly junk food and snacks to your grocery purchase.
Make a list before going to the store and stick to it. You receive flyers throughout the week. As you find something that is on sale that you need, add it to your list. Making a list also helps you to plan your meals. This can save you money because you will only buy what you need for the current week's meals and will avoid waste.
The more unprocessed the food is the less it will likely cost. Pre packaged food is convenient but you will pay for that convenience. Besides, it is much less healthy than food you prepare yourself. Often bulk items cost less than individually packed ones, but be sure to compare the per unit price since this is not always true.
Local markets can often save you money on fruit and vegetables. Local farmers prefer to sell their wares directly to the consumer rather than getting ripped off by a big food company or grocery store chain. They pass the savings on to you and everyone wins. Also avoid buying produce that is out of season for your area, otherwise you will be paying to offset the cost of high transportation fees.
Cut fast food totally out of your budget. Besides slowly killing you, it is a rip off. Though chains like Subway may claim to be healthy, that $8 sandwich can easily be made better at home for just a couple of bucks. Plan ahead and you can save a lot of cash and help your health.
Try to buy generic whenever possible. For most things, they are the exact same product. If you detect a noticeable difference then you can switch back to your old brand. If not, then you just found another way to save money. Don't be a name brand snob when it comes to food (or anything else).
Don't forget to check the internet for manufacturer's coupons. There are thousands and these can save several hundreds of dollars over the course of the year. As with many things, saving money on your grocery bill is a matter of planning.
This article was brought to you by Caroline Peroz of Ratelines.com. Since 2004, Ratelines has provided factual advice on cd rates.