Being a Frugal Food Shopper
One of the most easily controlled, but still fundamentally necessary, bills that can afflict all households is the grocery bill. If you are looking for ways that you can control your budget, and lower the amount of money that you spend on a monthly, or even weekly, basis, then you really need to look into being a frugal food shopper. While it is extremely easy to simply purchase the lowest costing items at the store, there is more to being a frugal shopper than that. Keeping to these guidelines will help you make that goal a reality.
- Keep track of what you need. An integral part of being a frugal food shopper is to make an accurate shopping list. The easiest way to do this is to have a piece of paper taped or held onto the fridge by a magnet that you can use to make this list. As you run out of something (for example butter, milk, eggs, bread, etc.) write it down. This will give you an accurate list of what you need.
- Preplan your menu. Prior to going to the store, create a menu for the coming week or weeks. As you are creating this menu, check to make sure that you have all of the ingredients listed on your shopping list. If you don't, then add the particular item that you need.
- Scout around. Scout out the various grocery stores in your area without the intent of actually shopping. Instead take a piece of paper and a pen, and write down the name of the store and a few common items. Repeat this process at each of the different stores. This will allow you the opportunity to compare the prices at each and every store. Do as much of your shopping at the store that has the lowest overall prices.
- Go to multiple stores. If necessary don't be afraid to purchase different types of things at different stores. For example, one store may have the lowest price on meat and poultry, another may have the lowest prices around on produce, and a third may have the best deals for bakery goods.
- Buy in bulk. Whenever possible, buy your items in bulk. You generally get the biggest bang for your buck when you purchase items in bulk. Make sure that the items you do purchase in bulk are the nonperishable items such as spices and herbs, sugar, flour, rice, and canned goods. You can also purchase meat and other items in bulk if you have the proper storage facilities for them.
- Don't be afraid of coupons. Coupons can be a huge help when trying to be a frugal food shopper. Spending just a few minutes a week to look for the current deals being offered can be a fantast tool. Many stores will match the prices of their competitors, and then there are the manufacturers coupons that come out periodically as well. Often you can add the manufacturer coupon discounts to the ones offered by the stores, and you will be amazed at the amount of money that you can save.
- Preplan your shopping route. If you will be visiting several stores, plan out your trip in advance. This way you can reduce the amount of traveling and driving that you do, and there by reduce the amount of gas that you use. Keep in mind that you should save any cold storage items till your last visit so that it doesn't end up getting ruined before you are finished with your shopping.