Doesn’t it seem like prices just keep going up on the things we HAVE to buy like gas, groceries, utilities, and limited edition blue ray DVDs of Ironman? Gas and utilities are basically like death and taxes, but there ARE many ways to save on groceries. Unfortunately, most of them take a lot of time and energy and we end up with diminishing returns. Now, thanks to the invention of the world wide webs, we have tools that will keep us full without breaking the bank.
If you look at what you have in your house and plan your menus around that, you’ll spend less because you won’t buy as many new items each week and you’ll use up everything you have, so nothing goes to waste. Finally, you won’t be as prone to impulse buys because you’ll know your list has everything on it that you need.
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 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.
KitchenMonki 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.
MealsMatter is sweet too, with an added focus on healthy foods. They help you understand nutrition, then provide recipes to help you meet your particular goals.
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 becomes a way of life, or even an obsession.
If you’d like to use coupons, but you’re intimidated by the process or aren’t sure how to get started, CouponMom is a great site. You’ll have to invest a little time, but she offers printable coupons, online coupons, and a coupon database, as well as a list of coupon deals by state.
Bargain Grocery Stores
Aldi is a life saver. Just by switching there, we’ve literally cut our grocery bill in half. Aldi brings you the savings by having very simple stores – palates of boxes make up the aisles and there are no butchers or deli’s. You’ll need to bring your own bags and a quarter to “rent” a cart (the quarter is returned when you return the cart). The food there is fantastic and you’ll be thrilled with how much you save.
Save-A-Lot Relatively new to the bargain grocery scene, Save-A-Lot promises a 40% discount from regular grocery stores with more if you use their printable coupons. Their site will help you locate a store in your area, and also has lots of yummy recipes featuring their food.
Grocery Outlet Though their website won’t let you see all their products, you can browse their sales to get a feel for what they carry. Grocery Outlet features a blog and a Twitter feed, both of which can help you get access to additional savings and can help you get ideas for making meals out of sale items.
Food 4 Less A subsidiary of Kroger, Food 4 Less offer print-at-home coupons, the opportunity to purchase gift cards for many different stores, and programs to help local schools earn money, just like the bigger grocery stores. In addition, you get the usual savings you can expect from a bargain grocery store.
If none of these stores are in your area, simply search online or ask around. Most urban areas have bargain grocers, and they can help trim your food budget more than you thought possible.
Online Price Comparison
Enter Pricible. 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’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.
How do you save money on groceries? Let us know below: