Tips On Stretching Your Food Dollars
Americans go to the grocery store about 1 and a half times a week, and spend on average $100. I'm sure that average is higher than the average of those of us who watch what we buy and eat. Still its alot.
Here's a few hints on cutting the total down:
Now I personally always try to have a list. I find that when I just walk into a grocery store for a few things, without a list, that I tend to add a few things here and there as I shop, often adding alot of money to my purchase. To help with that, I bought one of those smaller office white boards and put it on my kitchen wall. It provides me with a spot to add things as the week goes on, to the list then write the list down before I go shopping.
I also have a list of those things I eat on a regular basis. By watching for sales, I find I can save money if when an item does go on sale, I buy it in bulk.
I take a calculator along with me and keep a running total of my purchases. Sometimes if the total gets up there, I will return a few items that I don't need right now, or can go a week or two without.
I comparison shop. I have a small farmer's stand, 3 lower priced grocery stores, one upscale store and Walmart within 5 miles of my home. Walmart is the furthest out, with the upscale grocery store a mile closer. That one, has a very good meat department, so I usually drive to it as my furthest destination, and along the way stop at each of the cut rate stores to see what the prices are for each of the items on my list. I wait to buy on the return leg, purchasing the item at the lowest price at each store. I've found I can often times save $5-10 a list this way.
I combine my grocery trip with the ride home from work. Working third shift, I usually do my shopping in the morning. If there are a few things I need, I will stop on the way home.
I'm sure others here have tips and hints on how to save money, feel free to post them.