You probably know that little things can add up and this is no truer than when it comes to buying groceries. There are some very simple things you can do to cut your food costs and without really sacrificing much.
Tip #1: Weigh before you pay. If you buy products in bulk, don’t take for granted that the weight showed on the box or bag is correct. 10-pound bags of potatoes can actually weigh less than 10 pounds. So before you buy anything in bulk, be sure to weigh it so that you’ll get everything you’re paying for
Tip #2: Try for price matching. Some stores advertise that they will meet their competitors’ prices. If you can find one of these, cut out and take with you ads from other stores that are running specials and ask your store to match those prices. This is a way to get some great bargain without having to drive all over town.
Everything in discount stores isn’t necessarily cheaper
Tip #3: Beware the discount store fallacy. Just because you’re in a discount store or one of those dollar stores doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting great discount prices on everything you’re buying. Say, for example, you find a role of kitchen towels for $.89 that would cost $.99 at your local supermarket. While you might think you’re saving $.10, this wouldn’t be true if you have a nice, juicy coupon that would reduce the cost of those paper towels at your supermarket to $.59 or even less. Don’t get me wrong. You can get some good bargains at those discount stores. Just don’t let them fool you into thinking that you’re saving big money on everything. It always pays to compare.
Grocery stores are for groceries
Tip #4: grocery stores are for groceries. We’re a family of three and our monthly grocery bill can be $600 or more. However, a lot of that is not groceries at all. We have three dogs that consume 14 cans of dog food a week. Plus, there are vitamins, shampoo, laundry detergent, dish washing detergent and on and on. If we were to subtract the cost of these products from the $600, our true grocery bill would probably be closer to $400 a month. The best idea is to buy just groceries at the grocery store and your non-grocery items from other stores such as the discount stores and big box stores where you will typically find lower prices.
Tip #5. Get a notebook. Devote one page to each of the major items you buy on a regular basis. When you see one of the items on sale at a great price, write it down and where you saw it. This way, when a “special” offer comes along, you can check it against the great price you had found previously and know whether it’s really a special or just a marketing gimmick.
Read the fine print
Tip #6, be sure to read all the fine print. Whether it’s a coupon or a store ad, make sure you read all the fine print so that you will know exactly what the deal is. For example, stores can treat BOGOs (buy one, get one) two different ways. The store might charge full price for the one item and then give you the second item free. Or they might charge half price for each item, which means you might be able to use a coupon on each of them and save even more.