Regardless of how many people you have to buy groceries for each month, the grocery bill is always a consistently huge household expense. If you plan well before going to the store and apply the following seven suggestions, you will be able to successfully spend less on groceries on a regular basis.
* First and foremost, make a grocery budget and stick to it. Consider the amount of money that you have been spending over the last few months at the grocery store and then calculate an average that you can use for your budget. As you get better at finding bargains, you will eventually be able to lower this amount and save even more.
* Discuss and establish a menu that lasts two weeks with the entire family. This will help you to use the same menu items more than once will maintaining a variety in meals. At the same time you will be wasting less time and still keeping everyone in the family satisfied.
* Use the menu (and the recipes for the different items) to develop your grocery list. Be sure to check your pantry, fridge and freezer first so you don’t buy too much of an item. It can be helpful to put the grocery list in the order that you will find the items in the store (bakery, deli, dairy, freezer, and meat). Jot down your estimate for the cost and total it up. If you don’t come in under budget, you may have to do some adjusting or cutting.
* Go through the paper or search the internet for any coupons that might be available for the items you need. You can ask your friends and family to save coupons for you as well. Match your coupons to the list (and note on the list that you have a coupon and what it is for two for one, off of three, or whatever the discount may be).
* Make a coupon club with friends and family. Have everyone involved bring coupons that they are not going to use and share. You can also form a club on the Internet.
* Search the papers and flyers for any special discounts that are coming up at the grocery stores. The smaller your community, the more limited you may be, but there are still some great buys out there (especially when you can combine them with coupons).
* When it saves you money and is possible, buy in bulk. Make sure to compare prices before buying, since bulk purchases do not always work out to be cheaper. Non-perishable items are the best choices, like paper products and cleaning supplies that you can use any time. If you opt to buy meat in bulk quantities, make sure you repackage it individually before you store them.
These seven tips will help you reduce the money you spend on groceries, letting you put it to good use in some other way.