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What Are the Best Tips for Grocery Shopping on a Budget?

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  • Written By: Tiffany Manley
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 23 August 2016
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Many people strive to save money in any way they can, so grocery shopping on a budget is important to them. Although many resources exist for helping individuals do so, there are a few simple tips that make the process easier and more successful. Some of the best advice for grocery shopping on a budget are having a specific limit on how much money can be spent, using coupons, planning meals, consulting sales fliers and making and sticking to a grocery list.

In order for an individual to do his or her grocery shopping on a budget, he or she should first have a grocery budget, preferably one that is part of an overall household budget. By having a specific budget, an individual knows how much money he or she can spend on groceries during any given period of time. A realistic food budget helps ensure that an individual has enough money set aside to eat properly and to take care of his or her financial obligations.

Coupons are one way that an individual can do grocery shopping on a budget, and they are available from a variety of resources, such as newspapers, magazines, the Internet and mailing inserts. Many stores honor coupons in a variety of ways, such as doubling the coupon amount, accepting competitors’ coupons or offering in-store coupons. The customer service department usually can inform patrons about the store’s coupon policy.

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Meal planning is another way that many people have found to help them do their grocery shopping on a budget. When making a meal plan, an individual details what he or she — or his or her family — will be eating for the next week, month or another given period of time. After this has been done, he or she buys groceries to prepare what is on his or her meal plan. This might save someone a great deal of money by helping him or her avoid buying unnecessary groceries and making repeated trips to the store.

Some stores provide sales fliers that detail the items that are on sale as well as any coupons that the store might be offering. By planning meals according to what is on sale, an individual might save money on his or her grocery bill. In addition to sale prices, stores might also offer buy-one-get-one-free deals, rebates or other money-saving opportunities.

Making a list before heading to the store is another method that some people use to save money on their grocery bills. By thinking of everything that might be eaten during breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, an individual can make a list that details the foods he or she should purchase at the store. Doing so might save money by allowing someone to shop sales, use coupons and avoid convenience foods or other high cost items. Sticking to the list also can help a shopper avoid impulse buying at the store, such as putting something in the cart just because it looks good at the time.

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chivebasil
Post 3

I manage to grocery shop on a budget by buying generic products as much as possible. On some products I will stay away from the generics, but on others I can't tell the difference so why spend the money for the name brands?

jonrss
Post 2

One of my best tips for frugal grocery shopping is to look at the closeout items in your store. Often stores will sell items that have been discontinued on a special shelf. As a matter of fact, I looked at the shelf at my local store today and it had everything from baked goods to pasta to wine.

They might also sell produce that is about to turn at a drastically discounted price. I get great deals on red and yellow peppers this way. They last in my fridge for at least a week after I buy them and I pay less than half price. There are deals just waiting there in the store for you if you know where to look for them.

amypollick
Post 1

Coupons do help, but they're only good if they're for items you actually use. Buying stuff you'll never use doesn't save money.

Menu planning does help, though. You can plan meals using leftovers and make your money go farther.

Also consider using store brands for most things. Most store brand merchandise is just as good as the name brand stuff. In fact, many grocery store brands are processed in the same plants as name brands --they just have a different label.

Store brand canned goods and baking mixes are nearly always as good as their brand name counterparts. It's just a matter of getting oneself accustomed to looking for bargains and making sure that you're buying what you need, what you can use, what you will use and what you have room for, as far as storage goes.

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