Savings Tip: Grocery Shopping

Summer may be over, but we still have more saving tips to share!

According to the US Department of Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, the average American family of four spends as little as $610 and as much as $1,203 per month on groceries. A huge line item for most of us, there are ways you can reduce your monthly grocery bill.

Make a list
Before heading out take time to inventory what you have, and create a list of what you need. By avoiding overbuying and “spur of the moment” purchases, you can save a significant amount.

For those looking to have a fully stocked pantry, but don’t know what you should have on hand, check out these lists from The Pioneer Woman, the Meal Makeover Moms, and Real Simple.

Create a meal plan
To help you determine what should be on your list, make a meal plan. Looking for ideas? The editors at Real Simple have put together a month of dinners – a ready-made menu of delicious weeknight dinners for an entire month, including shopping lists.

Watch the price per unit
While it seems logical that larger sizes will cost less, that is not always the case. Rather than comparing prices, compare the price per unit posted on the shelf.

Know what you should pay
How much is a gallon of milk? A package of diapers? A box of cereal? Knowing these prices will help you determine if the price you see is the best you can get. If you have a hard time remembering, include the price or price per unit you want to pay on your grocery list.

Shop around
While it can take a little more time, shop around to find the best price. With so many choices available – local grocery stores, shopping clubs, big box retailers – a little legwork can yield big returns.

Don’t forget your coupons!
As discussed in a previous post, coupons can help you save on everything from French fries to toothpaste. Also, if available, make sure you sign up for any loyalty rewards cards which, when scanned, can shave even more off your bill.

How much do you spend on groceries each month?

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