Save money on groceries today!
If you're like most moms and dads, you are always looking for ways to trim a little extra from your budget Fortunately, groceries is one of those areas where you can take small, easy steps to save money for maximum benefit -- without sacrificing the quality of food you feed your family.
Don't shop when you're hungry!
I cannot stress this enough. If you shop with a rumbly tumbly, you will spend more money, plain and simple. Why? Because you'll buy things you normally wouldn't, just because your stomach wants it. You'll be more likely to buy more snacks and impulse items than you would if you had eaten before heading to the grocery store. Try it. You'll see!
Shop with a list, and stick to it
If you play it fast and loose with grocery shopping and head into the fray without a list, you are doomed from the get-go. With no road map, as it were, you will buy more than you would if you had a list. You'll buy thing just because they are on sale, or because they look tasty. You'll end up with more food than you need, and some of it will inevitably go to waste. Always make a detailed list and stick to it.
Shop your kitchen first!
Before you go to the grocery store, in fact before you even make your grocery list, take stock of what you already have. By doing this, you can make a meal plan based around what you can make with what you already have, and shop for only those extra things you'll need to fill out the menu plan. You'll very likely be surprised by how much you actually already have. If you can feed your family for a couple of nights per week using things you already have (breakfast for dinner, for example, or soup-and-sandwich meals) you can save money on your shopping trip because you'll only have to buy enough for dinners for the rest of the week, plus whatever you'll need for breakfast, lunch, and snacks.
Learn when things go on sale
Meat and bakery managers generally mark down items for quick sale on certain days. Keep an eye out for when this happens, and time your shopping trip for those times. You can save a significant amount on the things you buy with this strategy. Even if meat is marked down for quick sale (usually because the best-before date is coming up) you can either use it that week or freeze it for later.
Don't be a slave to brand names
Before you automatically reach for those big brand names, look at the no-name brand products right beside them. They are almost always cheaper, and almost always the exact same product. Obviously, if the nationally advertised brand is on sale that week, for that one.
Pay attention to unit price
This is very important! Every item in the grocery store will have the sticker price and the unit price. The sticker price is the price you will pay to take home that partcular sized box, case, bag, etc. -- the total cost of the item. The unit price is the cost of that item per ounce, ml, gram, etc. Although it may seem like a better deal to buy the gigantic box of cereal, the unit price may tell a different story. When comparing prices, always compare unit price to unit price.
When it comes to produce, this is the single best way to save money when you shop. If you are looking to buy strawberries in December in Canada, you're going to pay more for them than you would in June. Know what's in season and shop accordingly.