Frugal grocery shopping http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/13624/all en-US Couponing: Hobby or Lifestyle? http://www.wisebread.com/couponing-hobby-or-lifestyle <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/couponing-hobby-or-lifestyle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/coupon-3176214-small.jpg" alt="coupons" title="coupons" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you watch TLC, then you&rsquo;ve probably heard of or watched &quot;<a href="http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/extreme-couponing" target="_blank">Extreme Couponing</a>.&quot; It&rsquo;s a TV show about people who spend countless hours per week going through coupon clippings, figuring out how to buy hundreds of dollars of goods for pennies on the dollar.</p> <p>The practice of extreme couponing has become increasingly popular over the past few years as families look for more ways to be more frugal with their purchasing habits. But is there a such thing as being too frugal? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/extreme-couponing-5-reasons-why-i-ll-pass" target="_blank">Extreme Couponing? 5 Reasons Why I&rsquo;ll Pass</a>)</p> <p>Saving money is obviously ideal, but if you&rsquo;re spending hours per week just to save a few dollars at the supermarket, is it truly worth your time? Before you step into the couponing arena, it&rsquo;s important to determine whether you want to be a hobbyist or an extreme couponer.</p> <h2>Getting Started</h2> <p>Anyone who has watched &quot;Extreme Couponing&quot; was probably dazzled by the potential savings the first time they saw the show, but in reality, saving tens or hundreds of dollars through couponing is a tricky task. It takes a lot of organization, not to mention a lot of math. You don&rsquo;t want to be that person who miscalculated and either pays full price or returns all those items to the shelves, much to the annoyance of the cashier and people waiting in line behind you.</p> <p>To avoid getting overwhelmed, take it slow. Even if you want couponing to be more than just a hobby, don&rsquo;t fret about the deals you could be missing and squander several hours in pursuit of the most savings or free stuff. Instead, print or clip whatever coupons come your way and hold off on the more &quot;extreme&quot; aspects of couponing until you have more experience.</p> <h2>Finding Coupons</h2> <p>Newspaper ads and coupon leaflets used to be the most common places to find good deals, but in the past few years, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-best-deals-coupons-sites" target="_blank">couponing websites</a> have grown in popularity. You may have to pay for the cost of printing, but it&rsquo;s generally easier to find the types of coupons you&rsquo;re looking for, not to mention deals (such as manufacturers&rsquo; coupons) you might not have heard about, had you stuck solely to local ads.</p> <p>Couponing hobbyists tend to pick one or two sites they like and stick with those, while extreme couponers maximize their use of paper ads and surf through several couponing websites in search of hidden gems that could save them a lot of money at the store.</p> <p>A few good websites for finding coupons and promotional deals include:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://thekrazycouponlady.com/" target="_blank">The Krazy Coupon Lady</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.couponnetwork.com/" target="_blank">Coupon Network</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.retailmenot.com/" target="_blank">RetailMeNot</a></li> <li><a href="http://moneysavingmom.com/" target="_blank">Money Saving Mom</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.passionforsavings.com/" target="_blank">Passion for Savings</a></li> </ul> <h2>Staying Organized</h2> <p>Regardless of whether this is just a hobby or a full-on lifestyle for you and your family, the key to succeeding at couponing is staying organized. You don&rsquo;t want to be that person who holds up the line at a grocery store as you&rsquo;re shuffling through a seemingly endless assortment of coupons. Instead, come up with a filing system <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/help-i-lost-my-coupon-organizer">to keep everything in order</a>. For some couponers, this could be categorized envelopes (one for dairy products, one for toiletries, one for drinks, etc.) or an expandable folder in which you order coupons by expiration dates and stores where you can use them. Whatever works for you, as long as you can collect and organize them efficiently. Nobody wants to waste time looking around for a coupon they thought they clipped!</p> <h2>Understanding Wants vs. Needs</h2> <p>The intensity of couponing habits separates the hobbyists from the extreme couponers.</p> <p>While hobbyists may spend an hour or so going through coupons, extreme couponers spend <em>hours</em> looking for coupons, clipping or printing coupons, and strategizing their next shopping excursion, so they can get the best deal possible. The problem here is that couponing, if not done in moderation, becomes less about saving money than it does about acquiring as much free stuff or the biggest savings possible.</p> <p>Buying sixty cups of yogurt in one shopping trip just because you can get them for five cents each isn&rsquo;t <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-compact-mindfullness-and-frugality-through-buying-used" target="_blank">promoting a sustainable lifestyle</a> unless you plan on eating all of it before it expires. Some couponers accumulate dozens of bottles of condiments, hundreds of common toiletry items, and countless drinks, simply because they were &quot;such a good deal.&quot; While these are extreme examples, learn to differentiate between wants and needs early on in your couponing endeavors. You&rsquo;ll save a lot of time, money, and space in the end.</p> <h2>The Verdict</h2> <p>Couponing in moderation is ultimately the best way to go about getting deals at the grocery store. Although you may miss out on some &quot;amazing deals,&quot; you&rsquo;ll have more time for other hobbies but still be able to save some money on your grocery bills.</p> <p><em>Are you a hobbyist couponer or do you aspire to be a lifestyle couponer?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-kehoe">Kelly Kehoe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/couponing-hobby-or-lifestyle">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-lessons-i-learned-from-aldi">5 Frugal Lessons I Learned From Aldi</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/extreme-couponing-5-reasons-why-i-ll-pass">Extreme Couponing? 5 Reasons Why I’ll Pass.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-on-groceries-with-these-online-tools">Save Money on Groceries With These Online Tools</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-places-to-donate-extra-goods-from-couponing">13 Places to Donate Extra Goods From Couponing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-blow-dryers">The 5 Best Blow Dryers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping coupon websites extreme couponing Frugal grocery shopping Mon, 13 May 2013 09:48:31 +0000 Kelly Kehoe 973892 at http://www.wisebread.com Eating Frugally With MyPlate http://www.wisebread.com/eating-frugally-with-myplate <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/eating-frugally-with-myplate" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/guy_in_fridge.jpg" alt="Man reaching into the fridge" title="Man reaching into the fridge" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The USDA recently unveiled its new food icon, <a href="http://www.choosemyplate.gov/index.html">MyPlate</a>, which has been receiving plenty of media buzz thanks partly to the star power of its top advocate, Michelle Obama. The new MyPlate icon replaces the old Food Pyramid and is meant to help families to eat more healthfully by providing an idea of what your dinner plate should look like. (See also: <a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/food-pyramid-replaced-by-my-plate">Food Pyramid Replaced by &ldquo;MyPlate&rdquo;</a> via Healthy&nbsp;Theory)</p> <p>The big question for many of us is whether or not it is possible to eat affordably by following the MyPlate icon. Naysayers are quick to point out that many grains, fruits, and vegetables are expensive, and that the MyPlate icon is unrealistic for most households. I do not believe that is true. I think that it is possible to eat healthfully and follow the guidelines of the MyPlate icon while keeping your costs down. Here&rsquo;s why.</p> <h3>MyPlate Is a Guideline</h3> <p>While the MyPlate icon is supposed to simplify healthy eating for most families, you do still have to use common sense. It is a guideline with a great deal of wiggle room within it. For example, having your plate half-full of fruits and veggies doesn&rsquo;t mean you should go to Whole Foods and fill your cart full of out-of-season, imported fruits and vegetables. Those are sure to be more expensive! Rather, shop for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-by-the-month">seasonal</a> and locally grown fruits and vegetables at your local market. Shop around and find the supermarkets that offer the best deals on produce. I often find that ethnic markets offer the cheapest prices on vegetables.</p> <p>Yes, this will take a little more work, and you might have to stop at a couple of stores instead of one gargantuan supermarket. That is the price you&rsquo;ll have to pay for eating healthy, affordable food. Is it worth it to you?</p> <h3>Less Meat and More Vegetables Is Easier on the Wallet</h3> <p>One thing that should make us frugal shoppers perk up is that the MyPlate icon recommends that less than a quarter of our dinner plate be filled with protein. First of all, this means that we will be eating less meat. Meat can get expensive, especially if you&rsquo;re trying to find good-quality meat! Serving less of it means that you can splurge a little on better meat and seafood, but consume less. And remember that protein does not equal meat &mdash; other great sources of protein like tofu, edamame, chickpeas, beans, quinoa, and eggs typically cost less than a good cut of meat.</p> <p>You could try instituting a household tradition such as Meatless Monday, where every Monday you serve a meatless meal. It is one step towards moving away from a meat-dependent diet and putting a little more protein variety onto the plate.</p> <h3>Buy What&rsquo;s On Sale, and Cook From the Fridge</h3> <p>I&rsquo;ve recently started forcing myself to shop for groceries only once or twice a week. This makes me plan out what I need to buy a little better. For example, if I know I&rsquo;m going to need five kinds of vegetables to serve during the week, I&rsquo;ll look for the vegetables that are on sale when I go to my favorite market. If tri-colored peppers are expensive, maybe I&rsquo;ll go for the cheaper broccoli crowns instead. Or I&rsquo;ll buy a bag of carrots or a head of cabbage instead of the out-of-season hothouse tomatoes.</p> <p>During the week, I cook the produce that I have in the fridge, instead of being inspired by a recipe and then going out to buy all of the ingredients (they&rsquo;re never on sale when you want them!). I&rsquo;ve eliminated a great deal of waste by making myself use up what&rsquo;s in the fridge instead of shopping for new produce.</p> <p>This does force me to be a little more creative and adventurous with my cooking and try out vegetables that I&rsquo;ve never cooked before (can you believe I had never cooked beets before this little experiment?). On the plus side, the variety of vegetables you get by shopping this way is good for you!</p> <h3>Have a Well-Stocked Pantry</h3> <p>I like the designation &ldquo;grains&rdquo; on the MyPlate icon because it makes me think of whole grains, unlike the designation &ldquo;carbohydrates,&rdquo; which makes me think of gobs of white bread and cake. Having an assortment of healthy grains (and I assume that potatoes are included in this category) in your pantry can help you to come up with healthy, affordable meals. Costco is a great source for affordable rice, pasta, oatmeal, and quinoa. Sure, they come in 10 or 20-pound bags, but they won&rsquo;t spoil for a long time.</p> <p>Keep a variety of whole grains in your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stock-a-natural-food-pantry-for-less">pantry</a>, add to that the fruits and vegetables that you buy on sale, and supplement your diet with a small amount of meat or inexpensive plant proteins, and you&rsquo;re well on your way to eating frugally using MyPlate.</p> <p><em>I haven&rsquo;t addressed specific issues such as special dietary concerns, lactose intolerance, and other situations in which it might be difficult to follow the MyPlate guidelines. What do you think? Is it realistic and affordable for you and your family to eat according to the new food icon?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eating-frugally-with-myplate">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-foods-scientifically-proven-to-make-you-more-beautiful">7 Foods Scientifically Proven to Make You (More) Beautiful</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-scientifically-proven-to-increase-your-lifespan">6 Foods Scientifically Proven to Increase Your Lifespan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-supposedly-unhealthy-foods-that-are-actually-good-for-you">8 Supposedly Unhealthy Foods That Are Actually Good for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-foods-that-help-you-fight-fat">5 Foods That Help You Fight Fat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/herbal-supplements-know-what-you-re-getting">Herbal Supplements: Know What You’re Getting!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty cheap healthy eating Frugal grocery shopping nutrition Thu, 16 Jun 2011 10:36:13 +0000 Camilla Cheung 581356 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Frugal Lessons I Learned From Aldi http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-lessons-i-learned-from-aldi <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-frugal-lessons-i-learned-from-aldi" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5166134718_9038890f3.jpg" alt="Woman and baby at Aldi" title="Woman and baby at Aldi" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was kid, the prospect of shopping at Aldi with my mom filled me with a conflicting sense of excitement and dread. I liked the feeling that I could indulge more of my wants since the prices were so low. But I also had the requisite preteen and teenage angst of being seen in a store that so starkly catered to the budget-conscious. Suffice it to say, I am no longer conflicted.</p> <p>For those of you who don&rsquo;t live near an Aldi store or who&rsquo;ve never had the pleasure of shopping from a loading pallet, let me give you a bit of background on the company. Aldi is short for Albrecht Discount, a grocery chain founded in 1950s in Germany by brothers Karl and Theo Albrecht. Aldi stores are all about no-frills grocery shopping, featuring a focused selection of food basics with limited brand offerings and serious cost efficiencies. Today, the Aldi Group owns 8,210 stores worldwide and is growing steadily.</p> <p>As I&rsquo;ve matured into an unabashed Aldi fan, let me share with you the five lessons Aldi has taught me about frugality. Other stores take note; there&rsquo;s something to be learned here. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-other-grocery-stores-should-steal-from-trader-joes">5 Things Other Grocery Stores Should Steal From Trader Joe's</a>)</p> <h2>1. Simplicity Wins</h2> <p>Aldi doesn&rsquo;t try to create a shopping &quot;experience.&quot; Rather, it tries &mdash; quite successfully &mdash; to give shoppers a reasonable selection of food staples at amazingly low prices. You&rsquo;re quite literally shopping in a small warehouse &mdash; off of loading pallets with the products&rsquo; shipping boxes cut open for display. No shelves, no top-40 music, no deli, no coffee shop, no florist, no free samples, no kidding. It&rsquo;s wonderful. Aldi&rsquo;s bare-bones business approach is an island of sanity in a world filled with commercial noise and every conceivable distraction. The smaller selection of house brands mixed with some brand names allows the stores to have a smaller footprint, reduce labor costs, and minimize elaborate pricing and inventory systems. The goal is clean, clear, and simple &mdash; control costs.</p> <h2>2. DIY Saves Money</h2> <p>Shopping without much floor help and bagging your own groceries is just part of the simplicity ethos that defines the Aldi shopping experience. With few exceptions, you&rsquo;re on your own in an Aldi store (just the way I like it), and this DIY approach to shopping saves you money.</p> <h2>3. Less Is More</h2> <p>To shoppers accustomed to having 75 selections of soup, offering just four might sound heretical. But haven&rsquo;t we all been faced with &ldquo;analysis paralysis&rdquo; in the soup or cereal aisle? It&rsquo;s perversely liberating to have one brand of corn flakes to &ldquo;choose&rdquo; from. The choice is either to buy or not to buy.</p> <h2>4. Make Do</h2> <p>Since Aldi stores don&rsquo;t have 15 types of cheese or 12 different kinds of tomatoes, shoppers learn to be creative and flexible. I imagine many shoppers&rsquo; meal plans and recipes are amended based upon what&rsquo;s available in the stores. It harkens back to that old mantra of &ldquo;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/doing-without-is-often-better-than-making-do">make do, or do without</a>.&rdquo; Though this may not your preferred way prepare for a formal dinner party, it&rsquo;s a cost-effective and smart way to manage the day-to-day family food budget.</p> <h2>5. It&rsquo;s All About The Benjamins</h2> <p>Many discount stores are ashamed of their discount status and attempt to hide it in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. There&rsquo;s some implication that shopping in a decidedly down-scale environment is something to apologize for or re-label, dress up, or rebrand. Aldi makes no such apologies. It attempts to be nothing more than it is &mdash; unapologetically discount. Saving money is the goal, and the goal is golden.</p> <p>I wonder how many defunct stores might have survived if they employed a few of Aldi&rsquo;s tactics. What&rsquo;s more, I wonder how many might thrive in our new economy if they scaled back a bit and we all became more reasonable in what we expect from our shopping excursions. Aldi may be humble, but in that humility, there&rsquo;s a lesson or two in how to navigate the future.</p> <p><em>What&rsquo;s your favorite thing about shopping at Aldi? What&rsquo;s the best deal you&rsquo;ve scored there?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-lessons-i-learned-from-aldi">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-awesome-reasons-to-shop-at-aldi">6 Awesome Reasons to Shop at Aldi</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-on-groceries-with-these-online-tools">Save Money on Groceries With These Online Tools</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping Aldi Frugal grocery shopping living simply Mon, 09 May 2011 09:48:10 +0000 Kentin Waits 522197 at http://www.wisebread.com Save Money on Groceries With These Online Tools http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-on-groceries-with-these-online-tools <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-money-on-groceries-with-these-online-tools" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_grocery_shopping.jpg" alt="Man grocery shopping" title="Man grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The cost of just about everything seems to be going up these days. Gas is only the most notable example. The prices on groceries are rising steadily to the point that people are in a tizzy after they check out, getting a lot less food for a lot more money.</p> <p>There are many ways to save on groceries. Unfortunately, these all take time, and that&rsquo;s a precious commodity in our world, too. However, there are some online tools that can help you save both time and money, so you&rsquo;re happier, more relaxed, and still eating well. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-why-buying-groceries-online-is-great">3 Reasons Why Buying Groceries Online Is Great</a>)</p> <h2>Menu-Planning Tools</h2> <p>Most people know about the wisdom of menu planning. If you look at what you have in your house and plan your menus around that, you&rsquo;ll spend less because you won&rsquo;t buy as many new items each week. In addition, you&rsquo;ll use up everything you have, so nothing goes to waste. Finally, you won&rsquo;t be as prone to impulse buys because you&rsquo;ll know your list has everything on it that you need.</p> <p>In fact, the only downside to menu planning is that it can take quite a bit of time, especially at the beginning. But there are some handy-dandy websites that will not only allow you to choose the recipes you want to make, but will put together grocery lists and, sometimes, organize them for you, too.</p> <h3>Kitchen Monki</h3> <p><a href="http://www.kitchenmonki.com/">KitchenMonki</a> not only provides you with recipes, but will break those up into an aisle-by-aisle list of what you need to buy. It will also help you scale recipes and figure out if you have enough of an ingredient left or if you need to buy some more.</p> <h3>HealthyEating</h3> <p><a href="http://www.healthyeating.org/Healthy-Eating/Meals-Recipes.aspx">HealthyEating</a> is similar, with an added focus on healthy foods. They help you understand nutrition, then provide recipes to help you meet your particular goals.</p> <h3>Relish!</h3> <p>While <a href="http://www.relishrelish.com/">Relish!</a> charges a $7/month fee, they claim to have better meals and more flexibility. You can choose to go gluten-free, or you can go for options that you know the kids will like. Five meals worth of food should cost around $90, and there&rsquo;s little thinking involved on your part.</p> <h2>Coupon Resources</h2> <p>For most people, coupons are either a favorite or a least-favorite way to save money. For some, the process of finding, clipping, and using coupons feels tedious. To others, it seems like a no-brainer. And to some, it becomes a way of life, or even an obsession.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;d like to use coupons, but you&rsquo;re intimidated by the process or aren&rsquo;t sure how to get started, <a href="http://www.couponmom.com/">CouponMom</a> is a great site. You&rsquo;ll have to invest a little time, but it offers articles on how to use coupons, what the different terms that couponers use mean, and how to get started. She also offers printable coupons, online coupons, and a coupon database, as well as a list of coupon deals by state.</p> <p>Once you know what you&rsquo;re doing, there are a bazillion <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-best-deals-coupons-sites">coupon sites</a> online. <a href="http://www.redplum.com/">Redplum</a> is one of the best, and one that people have found to be trustworthy, reliable, and worth their time.</p> <h2>Online Price Comparison</h2> <p>One of the most tried-and-true ways to save on groceries is to compare the costs of items you buy regularly and shop where they&rsquo;re the cheapest. In terms of a time hog, though, this takes the cake. Not only do you have to find all the items in each store you want included in your comparison, but you also have to write down the prices. Then, when you&rsquo;re done, you have to decide where you&rsquo;ll save the most. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-groceries-with-discount-grocery-stores">Save on Groceries with Discount Grocery Stores</a>)</p> <p>Enter <a href="http://www.pricible.com/">Pricible</a>. This site claims to do your comparison shopping for you. All you need to do is tell it where you live, then enter the item you want to buy. It should give you the price options and the stores reporting the different prices in your area. Once you&rsquo;ve worked through your standard grocery items with Pricible, you should be able to target your shopping so you can save as much as possible. Note: I didn&rsquo;t find too many price options in my area, but it seems like other locations around the country had a much higher participation rate on the site.</p> <p>Hopefully these tools will help alleviate some of the strain that rising food prices can put on frugal people.</p> <p><em>Do you have other sites that you use to save on food? Let us know in the comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-on-groceries-with-these-online-tools">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-lessons-i-learned-from-aldi">5 Frugal Lessons I Learned From Aldi</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-shopping-list-strategy-from-5-meal-plan-will-save-you-big">This Simple Shopping List Strategy From $5 Meal Plan Will Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-save-on-groceries-in-a-pinch">5 Easy Ways to Save on Groceries in a Pinch</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-you-can-cut-grocery-expenses-today">13 Ways You Can Cut Grocery Expenses Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping couponing Frugal grocery shopping grocery shopping online meal planning save money on food Mon, 25 Apr 2011 10:24:16 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 529940 at http://www.wisebread.com