The typical American family of four spends $8,513 per year on groceries. And many families add to that amount by eating out regularly. If you are interested in cutting the amount you spend at the grocery store, file these tips away and follow the advice they offer:
Learn to cook. Cooking you own meals can significantly cut the costs of eating. Even fast-food eating out in enormously expensive. You’ll also save if you cook from scratch and avoid the higher-priced frozen and pre-prepared meals. Not only that, it is likely that you will eat healthier. Book stores have dozens of cookbooks, many of them focused on inexpensive and easy-to-fix meals.
Take fewer trips to the grocery store. Typical American food shoppers go to a store three or four times a week. This means they triple or quadruple the temptation to pick up things they don’t really need. Studies say the frequent shoppers spend up to 54 percent more than those who stock up for a month or more at a time.
Take sack lunches to work. Compare the cost of a $2 brown bag lunch to the average $6 trip to a sandwich shop and you can see how fast you could save yourself some serious money. In this comparison, the savings are about $80 a month or $960 in a year.
Make a list. Impulse buying is sharply curtailed when you have it written down. Sketch out a week’s meals and see that all the ingredients are on hand. Add a few goodies to the list for the occasional treat, but otherwise, stick with the list.
Buy generic. No-name brands are almost invariably less expensive than those that you recognize right off the bat and the quality is likely to be comparable. The experts say you can pocket big savings on such items as canned goods, cereals, frozen vegetables and even baby products such as diapers and prepared formulas. When buying prescription drugs, compare labels so you are sure you are getting the same dose of the active ingredients.
Use coupons. Coupons are good money-savers only if you look for items that don’t cost more than you would find in another brand. Store brands usually cost less. Eateries also offer coupons and you’ll find them online.
Many stores offer information on their shelves or price tags that gives a unit price. Comparison shop using the unit price. Buying in quantity is a good idea for some items. For instance, a pack of 40 diapers may cost f$13. or 33 cents per diaper. A box of 144 diapers at $35 is just 24 cents per diaper. (A word of caution: Although buying in bulk is usually less expensive, it’s a waste if you cannot use the product within a reasonable time. A good deal is not a good deal if it goes to waste.)