Shopping for groceries is something that every household has to do. Unfortunately, price of food continues to rise and many families are finding themselves facing a strict grocery budget. Though there is no way to stop the rise of food, there are several techniques that can be used to shop strategically. All it takes is a little bit of research and a little extra planning to get the best value out of your budget. Here are five tips that can be beneficial in being a savvy shopper.
1. Plan ahead
Rethink your grocery list by planning out the family meals in advance. Grocery lists help keep consumers on track by reminding them of what they absolutely need to make meals for the future and help to limit overspending. Keeping ingredients of the top ten meals that your family consumes can help limited last minute purchase that can shrink a budget. This approach can reduce the amount of time spent in the grocery store and help keep your budget in check.
2. Clip Coupons and Save
Manufacturers send out coupons to attract consumers to a particular product and to help customers save money. Manufactures rely on coupons to act as a marketing scheme to draw consumers into trying their product and spend extra money on something that you might not use. To avoid this pitfall into coupon marketing, only clip coupons that are actually necessary to your personal budget and taste. There are several websites that allow consumers to cut, clip, and print coupons online. A great resources is smartsource.com. Combining manufacturer coupons with sales or store coupons can also help the consumer save even more. Another great resource is to create a coupon group with friends, family, co-workers or community members. Members of the group can clip coupons to swap and trade with other members in the group to maximize the potential to get coupons that you actually need and will use. This saving tip can help consumers get the most out of coupons and use them beneficially.
3. Consider generic brands
Purchasing generic brands are often an excellent way for consumers to save money on their food bills. Store brands can be purchased at a fraction of the cost of name brands. A little consideration towards price variance can lead to getting a lower price per unit. This easily learned routine can help consumers stretch their grocery budgets.
4. Buy in bulk
Toiletries, paper goods, and other items are cheaper to buy in bulk at a warehouse discount store and allow the consumer to stock up. Meats can easily be purchased for less in bulk or while on sale and vacuum sealed in smaller portions to keep for a longer period of time in the freezer. This can help consumers stock up on products that use commonly and reduce the amount of time spent on groceries, saving consumer money in the long run.
5. Stalk sales and comparison shop
Markdowns can ring up as much as 50% off the original price, so it is possible to save money in many categories by waiting for sales. Ask the store manager when meat, dairy, bread and other produce are marked down than stock up during the sale week for the rest of the month. Consumers can use a small notepad to graph out sales every week at different stores to compare. Sales commonly repeat every month and consumers can optimize comparison shopping by tracking store sales. This technique can help consumers buy products at their lowest price and stretch their grocery budget to the max.