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Saving Money while Shopping

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1. Make a Grocery List Keeeping true to a shopping list keeps us from picking up so many unnecessary items (those pesky impulse buys!).  Those impulse buys can often add as much as 20% to our grocery bill before we know it.  Avoiding those extras by sticking to the grocery list will save us money each and every week.  Try our shopping list and menu planner features to help with this money-saving tip.

2. Cut out Some Coupons— No, this doesn’t require being an extreme coupon person to save some money at the store each week.  Save money by clipping coupons, spending just a few minutes each week browsing through the local paper or weekly flyers to find coupons on items purchased most frequently.  Also take advantage of sites like Coupons.com and find savings for your family.  In the North Texas area, Coupon Crazy Mommy also sends out daily emails with tips on best savings offered in local grocery or drug stores.  Spending just a little bit of time on this task could save $15-20 or more a month for most families.

3. Think Generic — Give the store-brand generic versions of products a try.  Many of the store-brands have come a long way and may even be produced by brand-name manufacturers these  days.  Finding the generic items your family enjoys can help save as much as 20% on the cost of each item.  This could easily add up to $10-20 a month of savings for the average family.

4. Skip the Pre-prepped Items — Items that have already been prepped in some way, such as pre-cut fruit or pre-packaged greens, are always more expensive than purchasing the items and doing the prep yourself.  Of course, it may save you a few minutes, but the savings in money usually far outweigh the time it takes to chop your own salad, cut up fresh fruit or even mix your own spices.  The UCLA Center on the Everyday Lives of Families estimates doing these chores yourself in the kitchen adds only about 10 minutes to meal prep.  Following this simple guideline could save the average family of four $10-15 a month.

5. Avoid Items Pre-Packaged in Small Servings The cheapest way to have snacks in small packages is to buy the larger package and divvy the items up yourself into smaller groups.  As an example, buying the Mini Oreo cookie snack packs would cost roughly three times more per cookie than purchasing the Oreos in a family pack.  Avoiding that type of packaging can help save your family around $10 a month.

March 19th, 2013

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