Trying to lower your grocery bill? Small changes can add up to some big results. Here are some simple ways to save:
Plan meals around what’s on sale — or what you purchased on sale. Each week grocery stores heavily discount a selection of items. Plan your meals around those sales, and purchase extra shelf-stable or frozen items that can be used for future meals. Many items, including milk, cheese and butter, can purchased on sale and frozen. If a heavily discounted item is not in stock when you shop, ask for a raincheck.
Come up with a meal plan. Some people plan by month or week, but you can start small and plan one or two days at a time. The idea is to know what you’re having for dinner at least a day or two in advance so that you can have the ingredients (purchased on sale, of course) on hand.
Shop with a list. Grocery stores count on impulse purchases. That’s why sticking to your shopping list can save you money over the long term. Your list doesn’t have to be on a piece of paper. You can find plenty of apps for grocery lists; some of which even import lists directly from recipes. Make sure your family members have some input on your shopping list. You may not think being out of A1 steak sauce is a big deal, but it might be for someone else in your family!
Use coupons. Don’t like clipping coupons? Don’t get the Sunday newspaper? No problem. Use coupon-printing web sites such as Coupons.com and SmartSource.com to print coupons for items on your shopping list. Several sites, such as GrocerySmarts.com, help you find the best sale prices at grocery stores in your area and printable coupons that can help you save even more.