Grocery shopping is one of the most expensive things we have to do in a month. We began shopping weekly when we moved in with family. Over the last few months I have learned some tricks of the trade before heading out to the store. These are the things I do each week before going grocery shopping, and how much each step saves us.
Making a list
Nothing is worse than going to the store without a list. You will end up with a cart full of stuff, but not necessarily everything you need. Impulse buys are at a height during this time, especially if you go on an empty stomach. Now that I have begun making a list, I have shaved $15 off of the grocery bill each week. While it may not seem like much, that is $60 a month.
I always look through the local sales ads that come in the mail. We do a lot of our shopping at a big box store and they offer to match any sale price you can find. Of course, you have to bring in the circular with you to verify the sale. I do this for soda and many different varieties of potato chips. The soda is the best deal because I can usually get 12-packs of cola for less than $3 each. By comparison shopping I save at least $10 a week, or $40 a month.
Every Sunday morning my husband goes and gets his coffee and the Sunday paper. The paper and coffee cost him $4 total, and I get to coupon while feeding the kids their breakfast. I clip about 50% of the coupons offered each week. I estimate my savings to be roughly $7 a week, or $28 a month. Many of the items are buy one, get one free. I find that shampoo and razors are the highest value coupons, and luckily my family will use whatever brand is on sale.
While these things may seem simple and obvious to everyone, they are really worth doing. Each week we shop for nine people, including one infant. We are able to feed everyone three meals a day with snacks included for a little over $150 a week. That is a huge difference from the $300 my family was spending before we moved in. Doing these minor tasks before leaving for the grocery store saves us at least $128 a month.
*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.More from this contributor First Person: Making My Own Baby Food Saves Me $31 a Month
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