Tuesday, January 25, 2011

How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half in 3 Easy Steps

When you see all these blogs and couponers who save these insane amounts on their grocery bill it's easy to get discouraged and think that you could never do that, or think it just takes too much effort.  The truth of the matter is that you can cut your grocery bill in half by just doing ONE THING.

1. Shop the Sales - plan your grocery purchases (and thus your meals) in accordance with what is (or is going to be) on sale.  Shopping sales alone will cut your grocery bill by 40-50% easily, without ever using a single coupon.  Each week, check the sale ads for your local grocery stores and look for the items you typically use.  Buy those items when they are on sale.

Now, granted, there are always going to be some staples that you need regularly that you can't get on sale when you need them.  For those items that are perishables, you will see little savings, unfortunately, but even those items do occasionally go on sale.  For non-perishable (or items that can be frozen)..

2. Stock Up - when the item is on sale, stock up.  Don't just buy what you will need for this week. Go ahead and buy several weeks worth.  The usual recommendation is anywhere from 1 months worth to 3 months worth. The reason for this is sales cycles.  Usually the items you see on sale now will be on sale again about 2-3 months (however, you may find them on sale again sooner at a different store chain).  You are basically spending more now to save much more in the future.  By buying it in bulk when it's on sale you avoid paying full price later.  This can save you as much as 2/3 off the price of this item over the course of 2-3 months.  If you eat a box of cereal each week that runs $2.99/box, and you see that cereal on sale for $1.99, buy 12 boxes and you've saved $12.  Of course, you could save even more by....

3. Using Coupons - clip coupons from the Sunday paper (or print coupons online) for items that you typically use (or might use).  When you find that item on sale, use the corresponding coupon with the sale.  This can often cut your price down 75% off the regular price.  If you use online blogs and websites that give you previews of upcoming grocery store sales you can even order extra coupons from a coupon clipping service (or ebay) so that you have more coupons to go with the stocking up principle.  Usually, buying coupons runs about .07 to .10 per coupon (sometimes you can get bulk amounts of coupons for an item on Ebay for as low as $1 for 30 coupons).

These are a few of my favorite places to check for Store Sale/ Coupon matchups:

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