grocery budget http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/14273/all en-US Flashback Friday: The 81 Best Tips for Saving Big at the Grocery Store http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-81-best-tips-for-saving-big-at-the-grocery-store <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-the-81-best-tips-for-saving-big-at-the-grocery-store" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_grocery_store_000086102447.jpg" alt="Woman learning tips to save big at the grocery store" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You go to the grocery store. You have a list in hand. Then, you stray from the list for just one item, and somehow you end up bringing home a bunch of food you didn't plan on buying, leaving your grocery budget completely obliterated. This happens to all of us, and it happens often.</p> <p>And no matter how much you plan ahead and try to stay on track, you can easily be lured into extra spending with 10 for $10 deals and delicious deli specials. The problem is that we need food to survive, so buying additional snacks and meals is way easier to justify in your mind than clothes or shoes. You can resist the urge to buy a new pair of shoes you don't need, but you will always need to put food in your belly.</p> <p>So to combat this tricky spending trap, here are the 81 best tips for saving big at the grocery store that we've ever shared.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_fresh_strawberries_000067876803.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-off-season-foods-that-are-destroying-your-grocery-budget?ref=fbf">5 Off-Season Foods That Are Destroying Your Grocery Budget</a> &mdash; You love fresh produce, but do you really need all your favorites 365 days a year? Nope. Stay away from foods that aren't in season and you can protect your food budget.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-healthiest-grocery-stores?ref=fbf">The 6 Healthiest Grocery Stores</a> &mdash; These stores are actively trying to ensure you make healthy food choices every time you shop. And sure, you can't guarantee that you'll never make an impulse buy at the register ever again, but wouldn't you rather that impulse buy be something good for you, as opposed to junk food? Me too.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-save-on-groceries-in-a-pinch?ref=fbf">5 Easy Ways to Save on Groceries in a Pinch</a> &mdash; You need food but you're low on funds. Now what? Here are five clever ways to get what you need while staying within your means.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/man_confused_groceries_000061844584.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-you-are-sabotaging-your-weekly-grocery-budget?ref=fbf">9 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Weekly Grocery Budget</a> &mdash; The first step to fixing a problem is acknowledging that there is one, and becoming aware of the triggers that lead to the problem. These are the grocery budget saboteurs that are keeping you from staying on track. Now you know.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-100s-next-month-with-these-10-grocery-shopping-tips?ref=fbf">Save $100s Next Month With These 10 Grocery Shopping Tips</a> &mdash; These tips will take your shopping strategy to the next level, and will help you resist those all-too-tempting food deals that are not on your list and outside of your budget.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-organic-grocery-items-that-arent-worth-it?ref=fbf">10 Organic Grocery Items That Aren't Worth It</a> &mdash; The &quot;organic&quot; label is a popular one to seek when food shopping. But some things don't need to be &quot;organic&quot; to be good for you. Skip these organic items and save big.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_food_shopping_000016896623.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/negotiate-better-prices-on-these-6-grocery-store-buys?ref=fbf">Negotiate Better Prices on These 6 Grocery Store Buys</a> &mdash; Good news! That price tag isn't set in stone. There are several items in your local grocery store that can be negotiated. So get haggling and save some major cash.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-grocery-store-secrets-only-the-pros-know?ref=fbf">10 Grocery Store Secrets Only the Pros Know</a> &mdash; These master hacks will show you how to get the best possible foods for your money, without spending more than need to.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-easy-ways-to-stretch-your-grocery-dollars?ref=fbf">20 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Dollars</a> &mdash; Just because you don't have a full house doesn't mean you can't do some smart bulk buying. Stretch your grocery bucks as far as they'll go with these easy tricks.</p> <p><em>How do you avoid overspending at the grocery store? Share with us 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/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-81-best-tips-for-saving-big-at-the-grocery-store">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/flashback-friday-the-60-best-ways-to-use-food-other-than-eating-it">Flashback Friday: The 60 Best Ways to Use Food Other Than Eating It</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/flashback-friday-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30">Flashback Friday: The 76 Best Life Lessons You Should Learn by 30</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/flashback-friday-63-best-cooking-hacks-for-busy-people">Flashback Friday: 63 Best Cooking Hacks for Busy People</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/flashback-friday-62-creative-uses-for-your-favorite-condiments">Flashback Friday: 62 Creative Uses for Your Favorite Condiments</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/flashback-friday-63-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-leftovers">Flashback Friday: 63 Delicious Ways to Enjoy Leftovers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting Food and Drink fbf fitness flashback friday frugal food grocery budget grocery shopping grocery store Health Fri, 01 Apr 2016 10:00:11 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1683036 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Weekly Grocery Budget http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-you-are-sabotaging-your-weekly-grocery-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-you-are-sabotaging-your-weekly-grocery-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_confused_groceries_000061844584.jpg" alt="Man learning ways he&#039;s sabotaging his grocery budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Food is something we need in order to survive, and like all good things, it doesn't always come cheap. When you live on a budget, as most of us do, many expenses are &quot;fixed&quot; expenses &mdash; your mortgage or rent, car payments, and insurance premiums. So where is there flexibility to save? In your grocery budget, believe it or not. If you work at it, you can not only stay within a grocery budget, but you can also save a lot of money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=seealso">Credit Cards with Bonus Rewards for Grocery Purchases</a>)</p> <p>Here's why you keep sabotaging your grocery budget, and how to avoid the overspending trap we all tend to fall into.</p> <h2>1.You Don't Do Meal Planning</h2> <p>There are dozens of websites and apps that will do this for you, but all you really need is a pen and a piece of paper. Map out each day of the week, and write next to it what you plan to eat that day. From that list, make a grocery list. The advantages of planning your meals are plentiful:</p> <ul> <li>You can shop once per week.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can check the grocery ads for what is on sale, and cut coupons.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You will stay out of stores and restaurants (and away from temptation).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You will be eating healthier meals.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you let your family chime in, you will have less food waste, if they get to eat what they like.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You'll make an effort to bring more variety into your diet.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can quickly track your spending week to week.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Meal planning makes life easier, and reduces stress.</li> </ul> <h2>2. You Don't Cook</h2> <p>Maybe you don't <em>like</em> to cook, or you don't know <em>how</em>. For those of you who don't like to cook, there are a couple of solutions. First, you can do batch cooking of a couple of things and eat them all week. Another idea is to trade the cooking chore for some other household chore. In our household, I cook, which I love; and my husband does the laundry, which I despise.</p> <p>If you don't know <em>how</em> to cook, you can certainly learn through classes, YouTube, reading cookbooks, or just asking someone to show you how.</p> <h2>3. You Don't Do Batch Cooking</h2> <p>Years ago, I was in a &quot;casserole club&quot; where we would all make casseroles and exchange them, and then be done for the week. It meant spending a good part of Sunday cooking and delivering, but cooking once per week was great, at the time. Lately, some of my younger coworkers have taken this idea and are doing healthy batch-cooking. (I have been jealous of the breakfast burritos filled with peppers, quinoa, egg whites, and spinach.)</p> <p>Batch cooking has benefits such as saving money, wasting less food, and being able to relax more. Try making a lasagne and freezing half. It's so nice, after a long day, to just pull something out of the freezer to reheat. Chili and Jambalaya also freeze really well.</p> <h2>4. You Don't Like Eating Leftovers</h2> <p>Maybe that's because you get bored easily, and like more variety. The trick is to transform the leftovers into something interesting. Try out apps and programs like <a href="https://www.bigoven.com/recipes/leftover">bigoven</a>, where you enter what leftovers you have, and voila, you get suggestions for &quot;new&quot; meals.</p> <h2>5. You Are Buying Trendy Stuff</h2> <p>Oh, look, a section of your grocery that has all gluten-free items! Unless you have been medically diagnosed as having celiac disease, you shouldn't assume you have it. And these items labeled as &quot;paleo-friendly&quot;... what does that even mean?</p> <p>And watch for <a href="http://www.dailyfinance.com/2010/09/27/10-most-overpriced-products-you-should-avoid/">store markups</a>. The biggest markup is bottled water, at up to 4,000%. Fancy coffee is a 300% markup. Pre-cut fruits and vegetables have a 40% markup. I love those in-store bakeries, but after learning about their 100% markup, I dragged my breadmaker back out of storage.</p> <h2>6. You Buy Lunches Out</h2> <p>I have coworkers who eat out every day. Let's look at that cost:</p> <p>If you're spending $5 a day (average) x 5 days per week = $25 a week x 4 = $100 per month, x 12 = <strong>$1,200</strong> a year. According to <em>Forbes, </em>most Americans go out for lunch on average twice a week and spend $10 each time. Do you fit the average? Would you rather spend that money, or a least a portion of it, on something else?</p> <p>Instead, try to pack a traditional &quot;brown-bag&quot; lunch as often as possible. Make an effort, though, to pack foods you really like, or you'll take one look at your peanut butter and toss it in favor of going out.</p> <h2>7. You Refuse to Use Coupons</h2> <p>Confession: I don't enjoy using coupons. They usually get lost in my purse, and I really have to force myself to wade through the grocery circulars. My trick? On Twitter, I followed a local coupon-cutting maniac. She tweets the best specials at local stores and I just go get them based on her very solid recommendations.</p> <h2>8. You Are Spending Too Much on Fruit</h2> <p>According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the most expensive way to buy fruit is fresh. That is followed by frozen, then canned, and finally dried. Fresh can be a good deal, so long as it is in season. Unseasonal fruit is a budget-wrecker. Grocers know this, and about the time we're sick of winter apples, pears, and oranges, they roll out some strawberries.</p> <p>By buying unseasonal fruit, you're also being a lousy locavore. That produce had to be shipped from far away. If you prefer summer fruits to winter fruits, try these strategies:</p> <ul> <li>During the summer, prep and freeze some of your favorites (berries do very well in the freezer).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Learn to can (home-canned peaches in January will be very welcome) or invest in a dehydrator (mine even makes fruit roll-ups).</li> </ul> <h2>9. You Like to Shop at Nice Stores</h2> <p>I appreciate the soft lighting, wooden floors, and attractive displays of produce, cheeses, and wines at nice and somewhat <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-save-money-at-whole-foods">luxurious grocery stores</a>. You can buy coffee and sip while you shop. They have olive and sushi bars. It's pleasant! Who wouldn't want to shop at a store like that?</p> <p>Unfortunately, you are paying about 20% extra for that ambiance. If you are a family of four, paying around $800 per month for groceries, that extra 20% takes you up to $960. Compare prices of items on your list at a store with harsh lighting, linoleum, no coffee and very few &quot;upscale&quot; products. You are bound to be surprised at how much less those products are.</p> <p><em>How do you save money on your grocery budget?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-you-are-sabotaging-your-weekly-grocery-budget">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/flashback-friday-the-81-best-tips-for-saving-big-at-the-grocery-store">Flashback Friday: The 81 Best Tips for Saving Big at the Grocery Store</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/the-6-healthiest-grocery-stores">The 6 Healthiest Grocery Stores</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/stock-these-20-frugal-foods-for-tough-financial-times">Stock These 20 Frugal Foods for Tough Financial Times</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-ways-to-cut-your-grocery-bill">5 Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill</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/menu-planning-backwards-and-forwards">Menu Planning Backwards and Forwards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Food and Drink Shopping food budget fresh food grocery budget grocery shopping healthy eating Mon, 21 Dec 2015 10:01:02 +0000 Marla Walters 1623599 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6039471081_b1db66ac14_z.jpg" alt="grocery shopping" title="grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="190" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After housing and transportation costs, food consumes more of the average household's budget than anything else. I've already looked at ways to cut <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-become-a-landlord-instead-of-selling-your-home" target="_blank">housing</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-hidden-advantages-to-getting-rid-of-your-car" target="_blank">transportation</a>. Now let's look at a few ways trim our food budget &mdash; and do it without tightening our belts. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-grocery-shop-for-five-on-100-a-week">How to&nbsp;Grocery&nbsp;Shop for Five on $100 a Week</a>)</p> <h3>1. Set a Budget, and Stick to It</h3> <p>These are the first and last words in cutting your grocery bill. It's all about goal-setting. You will never succeed unless you define what you are trying to do.</p> <p>The easiest way to start out with a grocery budget is to save a couple weeks' worth of receipts, calculate how much you usually spend on average, then subtract 10% from that amount. If you easily achieve that, you can go ahead and lower your budget even more.</p> <h3>2. Don't Shop the Same Store Every Week</h3> <p>Shopping multiple stores is key to paying less for groceries, but it's a strategy that many people balk at because it sounds time consuming. Here's the workaround &mdash; you don't have to shop at three stores <em>every</em> week, wasting gas and time running from store to store. Instead, be strategic. When your circulars arrive, find the best deals in the stores nearest you, then choose which store will help you save the most this week.</p> <h3>3. Use Coupons</h3> <p>From personal experience, I can tell you that coupons are worth the time they take to clip, print out, or, increasingly, load to a store card. <a href="http://www.dominicks.com/ShopStores/Offers-Landing-IMG.page?" target="_blank">Safeway's Just for U</a> digital coupon program alone promises about 20% savings, and after using the program regularly I have found that it usually saves me more than 20%. Think of it this way &mdash; if you use just five $1 coupons per week on items you would have bought anyway, you'll save more than $250 per year.</p> <h3>4. Buy Clearance Items</h3> <p>Some grocery stores regularly put soon-to-expire meat in a special clearance bin, marked 30% or 50% off. Other good items to find marked down are deli items, dairy products, and at some lower-end stores, produce. Personally, I have never had a quality problem with such foods, since I always use them or freeze them immediately. But remember, if you buy something that does not taste good, any decent grocery store will give you a refund or replace it, even if the product was on clearance.</p> <p>Bolder shoppers don't just look for products marked &quot;clearance&quot; &mdash; they ask the butcher or other employees if they can have a discount on something that's soon to expire.</p> <h3>5. Look for Alternative Grocery Stores</h3> <p>Don't walk past a small neighborhood grocery, ethnic store, or dented-can store without checking it out. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-save-a-bundle-on-your-groceries-consider-you-local-asian-market">Ethnic and neighborhood groceries</a> often have excellent deals on meat and produce, while the dented-can outlets and even drugstores can offer deep discounts on canned and boxed goods.</p> <h3>6. Try Amazon</h3> <p>Sometimes Amazon's prices for canned foods, cereal, and other pantry items are sky-high, but sometimes they offer steep price drops and coupon codes. <a href="http://wantnot.net/" target="_blank">Wantnot.net</a> is a good blog for getting alerts on great Amazon deals.</p> <h3>7. Participate in Meatless Monday</h3> <p>Meat is often the most expensive component of a meal. If you are used to serving meat at every dinner, try <a href="http://www.meatlessmonday.com/" target="_blank">going meatless just once a week</a> and see how much you save. You may find you want to add Tofu Tuesday or Steak-Free Saturday to your schedule as well!</p> <h3>8. Stop Wasting Food</h3> <p><a href="http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/features/us/july-dec12/food_09-07.html" target="_blank">Forty percent of all food produced in the United States is thrown away</a>. That's a whopping 20 pounds of junked food per American.</p> <p>You may not be able to control the amount of food that is thrown away at the farm and grocery store, but in your home, you can put a stop to the waste by making sure to use ingredients before they go bad, and by not putting too much food on your plate. One handy tip is to make a weekly meal of a soup or stew that can serve as a catch-all for any bits and ends of ingredients used throughout the week &mdash; you may end up with some surprisingly delicious concoctions.</p> <h3>9. Make Economical Substitutions</h3> <p>Make pesto with sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts. Replace expensive or out-of-season vegetables in recipes with the always-cheap carrots or cabbage. Substitute frozen berries for fresh. One substitution that doesn't usually save money anymore is <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nonfat-dry-milk-no-longer-a-frugal-alternative" target="_blank">swapping powdered milk for fluid milk</a> &mdash; nowadays the powdered stuff usually costs more!</p> <h3>10. Stretch the Meat</h3> <p>Instead of serving whole pieces of meat like steaks or chops, serve casseroles, stews, and other dishes with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meat-money-grocery-saving-tips-for-carnivores" target="_blank">chopped, crumbled, or shredded meat</a>. That way you can make it stretch and use it more as a flavoring than as a main source of nutrition.</p> <h3>11. Stop Over-Eating</h3> <p>Do you ever make a double batch at dinner so you'll have leftovers to pack in lunches, only to realize that the family all had seconds and there's nothing left? If you're tempted to eat more than you need, try packing away half the food <em>before</em> you put it on the table or putting half servings on your plate. If you're trying to lose weight, this strategy can kill two birds with one stone.</p> <h3>12. Look for Buy One, Get One Free Sales</h3> <p>These are often the best deals in the supermarket, offering a 50% discount on two products. Most other discounts are only 10 to 20%. If your store allows you to use two coupons on BOGO pairs, you can save even more. The ultimate savings is when they let you pair a BOGO coupon with a BOGO sale and take home two items for free!</p> <h3>13. Use the Cash Envelope System</h3> <p>If you find you're spending more than you want at the grocery store, many budget gurus recommend the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-envelope-system" target="_blank">envelope system</a>. At the beginning of the week or month, put the amount of cash you plan to spend on groceries in the envelope, and ONLY take that cash to the store. No credit or debit cards. If you can, include a little extra in your budget to allow you to take advantage of great, unexpected deals like clearance items.</p> <h3>14. Use a Rewards Credit Card</h3> <p>There are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">credit cards that offer rewards on grocery purchases</a>. These cards give cash back or points for purchases made at most supermarkets. As long as you pay off your balances in full each month, there's no reason you shouldn't use a rewards <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-everyday-purchases?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">credit card for your everyday purchases</a>, to put some money back in your pocket. The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cashing-in-at-the-supermarket-blue-cash-preferred-card-from-american-express-review?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express</a>, for example, gives 6% cash back on purchases made at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year). Terms and limitations apply. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-an-extra-109486-a-year?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">How to Save Over $1,000 Each Year Using Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h3>15. Sign Up for a Regular Produce Delivery</h3> <p>This may seem counterintuitive since many of the community-supported agriculture produce boxes are organic and more costly. But you may find that receiving a regular delivery of produce forces you to cook more veggie-based meals and cuts your spending on meat.</p> <h3>16. Chop Your Own Veggies</h3> <p>If it takes you four minutes to chop an onion, is it really worth it to pay for a tub of pre-chopped veggies? Only if you make a really great hourly wage.</p> <h3>17. Don't Depend on Your Groceries for Your Self Image</h3> <p>Are you shopping at Whole Foods because you really feel it offers the most nutritious and delicious food, or because you feel like you've achieved the status of someone who shops there? Guess what? Just like smart millionaires drive cars with lots of miles on them, smart upper-income families clip coupons (they're the highest-using group!) and buy nutritious, inexpensive foods.</p> <h3>18. Find Out Which Organic Items Really Matter</h3> <p>If you're concerned about pesticide residue on your produce, it pays to check out the <a href="http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/" target="_blank">Environmental Working Group's list of which foods are most likely to be contaminated</a>. Thanks to this list, I know that springing for organic potatoes and apples is worthwhile, but I don't pay more for organic onions.</p> <h3>19. Investigate Buying Clubs</h3> <p>Does your neighborhood or church have a bulk buying club you can join? This is sometimes a good option, especially for people who want to shop for organic food or non-toxic household products.</p> <h3>20. Make Your Own Bread</h3> <p>One of the easiest things to make from scratch is bread, especially if you have a bread machine. Not only do the <a href="http://www.thefrugalgirl.com/2010/08/wednesday-baking-does-homemade-bread-save-money/" target="_blank">ingredients cost less than a store-bought loaf</a>, but a fresh, homemade loaf of bread also brings more enjoyment to a meal than a bag of factory-produced slices.</p> <p>But what about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-bread-machines">the cost of the bread machine</a>? No problem. I have picked up several perfectly functional models over the years for less than $5 each at thrift stores. Not convinced? With a &quot;no-knead&quot; recipe, you don't even <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/08mini.html" target="_blank">need a bread machine</a>.</p> <h3>21. Try Costco &mdash; With Caution</h3> <p>Costco can be a boon to your budget or a major stumbling block, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-rules-you-must-follow-when-shopping-at-costco" target="_blank">depending on how you work it</a>. It's a great place to get budget wines, if that's on your list. Personally, I don't have a Costco membership at the moment, but I do appreciate it when a friend with a membership picks up something for me like a large package of flour or baking soda. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-costco-anywhere-visa-card-by-citi-is-good-news-for-costco-shoppers">Costco's New Credit Card Gives More Cash Back to Shoppers</a>)</p> <h3>22. Drink Water</h3> <p>Not only is it almost free and healthy, but, unlike a certain popular carbonated beverage, <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/02/12/coca-cola-soda-death/1912491/" target="_blank">two gallons a day won't kill you</a>.</p> <h3>23. Look at What the Rest of the World Eats</h3> <p>Next time you're heading to the grocery store, first look at these pictures of a<a href="http://blogs.oxfam.ca/blogs/grow/7-photos-reveal-what-families-eat-in-one-week"> week's worth of food for families around the world</a>, taken by Oxfam. It just might help you realize you don't need to pile the cart high to enjoy nutritious meals.</p> <h3>24. Layer Your Discounts</h3> <p>It's not just about finding sale prices and coupons. These days, grocery stores also offer occasional basket coupons in their ads or by email, allowing customers to save $50 off a $50 purchase, or so. Then there are the benefits that come after you buy, like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/advanced-grocery-deals-catalinas" target="_blank">Catalina coupons</a>, which print out after you pay and can take $1, $5, or more off your next purchase when you buy select items. Some stores, especially Target, are also offering store gift cards if you purchase certain items.</p> <p>If you really want to save, combine a coupon, a sale price, a Catalina offer, and a basket coupon all in one trip.</p> <h3>25. Skim the Best Deals Off the Top</h3> <p>Every store offers a limited number of &quot;loss leaders&quot; each week. &quot;Loss leaders&quot; are the deals so good the store may be losing money on them. Their plan is to use these discounts to draw you into the store, where you will proceed to pay full price for lots of other stuff. You can thwart their plan by stocking up on the loss leaders without buying the full-priced stuff. The key is to stock up on whatever's on sale each week, and then next week you can draw on your stockpile in the freezer and pantry to avoid having to buy those things at full price.</p> <p><em>How are you saving money on your grocery bill?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill">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/trader-joes-vs-costco-whats-a-better-place-to-shop">Trader Joes vs. Costco: What&#039;s a Better Place to Shop?</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/9-ways-you-are-sabotaging-your-weekly-grocery-budget">9 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Weekly Grocery Budget</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/can-you-really-save-with-amazon-prime-pantry">Can You Really Save With Amazon Prime Pantry?</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-9-easiest-food-budget-wins">The 9 Easiest Food Budget Wins</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping affordable food Bulk buying grocery budget lower grocery bill Thu, 07 Mar 2013 11:24:32 +0000 Carrie Kirby 967858 at http://www.wisebread.com