Monday, October 3, 2016

Grocery Shopping on a Budget - 10 Tips to Save You Money

Do you find yourself spending more and more money on groceries? It's not uncommon for a family of four to spend $250 or more each week. If you're on a limited income, this can cause a strain in your budget. Thankfully, there are ways to save money. Let's take a closer look at grocery shopping on a budget.

#1: Check for Mark Downs

When grocery shopping on a budget, it's important to look for mark downs throughout your store. For example, many stores will mark down the price of meat when it's about to expire. Depending on your store, this may happen right before meat expires or it may happen a few days before it expires. Either way, this is a great way to stretch your budget. When you get home, place any meat that you won't be using that day in the freezer so that it last longer.

#2: Look for Grocery Outlets

Grocery outlets are a wonderful place to do your grocery shopping when you're on a budget. These outlet stores offer amazing prices. For example, you'll be able to find canned goods at a fraction of the cost that regular stores charge. These outlets are not just damaged goods either. In fact, the right outlet will contain very few damaged products.
  
#3: Look for Meat Substitutes

Unless you find meat that's been marked down or on sale, it can be an expensive purchase. If there isn't any meat on sale that week, why not try substituting meat with mushrooms? Portobello mushrooms not only taste meaty when seasoned correctly, but have a similar texture as well.

#4: Be Creative

When grocery shopping on a budget it's important to be creative. For example, if you find a great sale on chicken thighs, think of different ways to use them throughout the week. You could make barbecued chicken, chicken and dumplings, or even fried chicken. This allows you to serve chicken all week, without having your family get bored.

#5: Look for the Best Prices

Before choosing a grocery store, look at the prices at different stores. When you're grocery shopping on a budget you may have to visit a few stores to get the best prices. For example, one store may have a great deal on meat, while another store has the best prices on everything else you need.

#6: Buy in Bulk

Nine times out of ten, buying in bulk will save you money. When you do your grocery shopping check the sales tags for the price per ounce. More times than not, larger containers will have a cheaper price per ounce than smaller containers. But remember, it's only a good deal if you will use that much before it goes bad.

#7: Try Store Brand Products

Don't be afraid to try store brands when you're on a budget. Store brands can be just as tasty as name brand products. For example, Walmart brand flavored rice is actually better than Rice-a-Roni. Buy one at a time and see what you think. You may find products you like better than the brand name versions.

#8: Avoid Convenience Foods

Avoid convenience foods whenever possible. These foods not only cost a lot, but they're rarely healthy. Instead, make foods from scratch. This is very budget friendly. Many dishes can be made at home for a small fraction of what they cost in the store.

#9: Use a Savings Card

If your store offers a savings card, you really should sign up for it. If you don't, you won't be able to take advantage of the sales located throughout the store. Also many stores offer promotions to their customers. For example, you may receive coupons in the mail or you may even be able to sign up for promotions on the store's website.

#10: Use Coupons

If you're on a budget, coupons are your best friend. Coupons will allow you to save hundreds to thousands of dollars throughout the year. You will also be able to buy your favorite products more often. Some of the best places to find coupons is in the Sunday paper, through Coupons.com, or on Coupon Flea Market.

Grocery shopping on a budget doesn't mean you have to feed you have to feel the strain. There are ways to save money.

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