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Blogging for Change Blogging For Change
by sitecore\kmcgrigg on April 23, 2009

In honor of Financial Literacy Month, we created a microsite that offers 30 simple steps to financial wellness–one for each day of the month. To enrich the experience, we asked some amazing people to guest post during the month on a topic that is related to the day’s step. Their dedication to financial literacy is truly inspiring! Today, Heidi from Little People Wealth talks about ways to save money on groceries.

When people look to decrease spending, generally the first things that come to mind are cable, phone, internet, shopping, eating out, etc. Groceries, although overlooked, is actually one of the easiest ways to decrease your monthly spending! Here are ten easy ways to decrease that grocery portion of your budget!

Stop paying for household items! First and foremost, you should keep the money designated for groceries going towards food. Household products, cleaning supplies, medications, and other non food essentials should not be bought at a grocery store. Walgreens, CVS, and Riteaid have store programs which allow you to get these products for free by combining the store programs with store and manufacturer coupons. Sometimes you will even make money when buying things you need! Once you have the drugstore game down then you can really focus on cutting your grocery expenses.

Use coupons! You can find coupons in your Sunday newspaper, online, and even electronic coupons on some grocery cards. There are now coupons for organics, milk, and bread. You do not need to live off of hamburger helper to save money using coupons.

Don’t be a brand snob! Buy the brand that saves the most money. Sometimes that is a store brand and sometimes it is a name brand with coupons and a sale. The key is to be open to trying different brands.

Don’t be a store snob either! Follow the ads of at least two different stores. Each store will have different sales and you will be able to take advantage of both.

Use a price book! Figure out what items you purchase most often and keep a price book (a book that shows you what the regular price of the item is at the stores you normally shop at). This book will help you determine if something is really a sale or if it is just an advertised regular price. It will also help you determine what store is best for the items you eat most often.

Stock up on deals! Each week a store puts out an ad with door busters, deals that are meant to get you in the store so you buy other items as well as the great deal items. When you see these great deals you can stock up. Buy enough to last you until the next time it goes on sale! Usually sales are on a rotation of about 6 weeks.

Eat less meat! Meat is usually the highest cost item in a grocery budget. Try to cut back on meat and you will save a ton. If you can’t cut back then look into local butcher shops where you can purchase meat by the slab and then put it in your freezer.

Plan a menu around the sale items and what you have at home! Many stores are helping out in this area by actually publishing recipes next to the sale items (in the online ads). Don’t let the food you have at home go bad because it is at the back of the pantry. Pull it out and use it!

Drink water! Soda is one of the worst budget (and diet) killers. If you cut it out you will feel healthier and your budget will thank you.

Grow your own! This one can be tough, but even if you don’t have much space you can grow some items. My yard is almost completely covered in shade and I do not have much time for a garden. Last year I planted one tomato plant (my favorite) and a few pots of herbs and lettuce. There is nothing better than a fresh salad! I spent less than 5 minutes a day with my “garden”. If you have more time then you can grow a larger garden and really reap the cost saving and health benefits. You could also look around for a co-op garden or farm in your area. Many places offer fruits and vegetables for free (or cheap) in exchange for working.

Use these grocery tips and you will see your savings grow!

Heidi writes for Little People Wealth, a money saving and deal finding blog that helps the average person save money using drugstore programs, coupons, and more!



Lindsay says:
April 23, 2009

All great information! I do the same things and we have saved a ton of money on groceries/household items in the last 18 months.

Sophie A. says:
June 03, 2009

Long live a great deal! In this day and age I could use all the help I can get. Thanks for the help!

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