With the new food buying system our family uses, we save, on average, one-third to one-half off of our grocery bill every week. These seven cautions are part of how we do this. If you are serious about saving money on food and groceries: give them a try.
1) Don't be brand loyal: use different brands. You don't have to buy generic either. We almost exclusively buy brand names. Buying a particular brand on one or two items is OK. To save the most, get the best deal on the majority of the items bought.
2) Be sure sales are sales. Store frequently place certain items on sale during set times of the year. Two for one sales are popular. However, a 2 for 1 sale doesn't save money if the store increased its price while placing it "on sale". Be aware of stores who constantly have insufficient stock. The hope is the shopper will buy what is on the shelve. Ask for rain checks. Some of our best buys are when we combine doubled coupons with 2 for 1 sales.
3) Check expiration dates. Some sale items have dates soon to expire. It isn't a good deal if the date goes out before it can be used.
4) Don't buy something you don't normally use just because you have a coupon. Using coupons wisely saves money. If you can't or won't use the item, it's not a deal no matter what the price. Some coupons are for new food items. You won't know the "normal or sale" price on these items because they are new.
5) Be careful about sale conditions and limits. Do you have to buy $25.00 worth of groceries to get the sale price? Is there a limit to the quantity? Is the sale only for Friday - Sunday? It's not a deal if you have to buy more than you need to get one item.
6) Match your weekly menu to reflect what's in season and what's in your pantry. If you have to go back to the grocery to get one more item, you'll more likely to buy at a higher price. If it's out of season it will cost more.
7) Don't buy convenience foods unnecessarily. Convenience costs more. I would never suggest to forgo use of convenience foods. However buying fewer or buying only on sale will save a lot of money. Consider learning how to create your own convenience foods. Many sites have recipes for such food items. Saving money is possible. Prices on items change week to week. Be aware. You save a lot when you know your options.
Author info: L. C. Peterson is a freelance writer and web site consultant. More food saving tips can be found here.