Saturday, December 17, 2011

How to Save Money on Food and Groceries

With the current economic conditions, families all over the place are having a difficult time putting food on their tables. Add this to the fact that grocery prices have risen and you can see why so many people may be going without. Thankfully, there are some things a family can do to save money on food and groceries.

Meal Planning
Going into the grocery store without a plan is one of the biggest financial mistakes that one can make. When you go in without one, your cart is going to be filled with items that you either do not need or are very expensive. Taking the time to plan out your meals for the week is going to help you to save money.
Each week, you will want to plan your meals around the sales at the stores you shop at. While you may prefer one store over another, store loyalty should not play a part in your shopping. It is much more important to shop where the prices are lower.
More people are using coupons than ever and most of this is due to the fact that people can just no longer afford food and groceries and coupons can provide great savings when you use them properly.
The first step to using coupons is buying the right amount of papers each week. The best way to calculate how many papers to buy is to buy one for each member of your family. If you have four members, buy four papers. This will ensure you will buy the right amounts of food items when they go on sale.
Using coupons is not just about saving fifty cents to a dollar on an item. Coupons need to be matched up to the sale items and you always want to know your stores policies regarding their use. For example, one store may double coupons up to a dollar, but they will only double four like coupons.
Coupon usage is going to require that you are organized and it can be time consuming. However, if you can put in the time that is necessary, you can cut your grocery bill in half or more. With the right planning, many of the items you purchase will end up being free and free groceries are something families of today can not ignore.
Clearance Items
You will also want to pay attention to items on clearance at the grocery store. Quite often, the day before the expiration date, the meat department will mark them down by as much as three dollars. Clearance items can save you a lot of money on your food and grocery bill.

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