1. Never shop when you are hungry (or with kids, if you can avoid it). Both situations will lead to overbuying, as extra things find their way into your grocery cart. You may have good intentions, but hunger and kids will usually prevail.
2. Look for stores that double coupons and be on the alert for triple coupon days.
3. Use your coupons wisely. Combine them with sales or apply them to the smallest allowable size. Using this strategy, you may even score some grocery items for free.
4. Learn to cook and bake from scratch. It isn’t as hard or as time-consuming as you might think. You’ll save a lot of money, even if you start out with baking mixes and simple recipes.
5. Stretch more expensive ingredients. Mix fruit juice with water or seltzer and extend ground beef with stuffing mix.
6. Shop generic products whenever you can. Today’s generics or store brand items are of excellent quality as well as being less expensive. Some stores actually feature different types of generic items, such as regular and premium products.
7. Stay away from convenience stores. Sure they are convenient, but you will pay a premium price on your groceries. The only exception would be if you absolutely need something and the amount you would pay in gas to drive to the regular grocery store to buy that one thing costs more than the savings you would get. A better strategy is to be as organized as you can in your grocery planning so you don’t find yourself having to make special trips.
8. Learn to drink water. Soft drinks or even many juices contain a lot of sugar and empty calories that don’t provide much nutrition. Eliminate these items from your family’s diet, and you’ll save money while establishing a healthy habit. To make water more appealing, keep a cold pitcher of it in the refrigerator. You can squeeze in some lemon juice for a little flavor and Vitamin C.
9. Make a grocery list and stick to it. When you shop from a list and eliminate the spontaneous purchases, you will automatically save money.
10. Shop with cash. Shopping with cash helps you stick to a budget, and it makes you a more careful shopper. You’ll naturally avoid spending too much, because you won’t want to be embarrassed by running out of money at the cash register.
11. Double the time between trips. If you shop once a week, consider shopping only every other week. Having less access to the store may force you to be creative with the food that you already have, such as leftovers and pantry items. It will also eliminate waste as you naturally become more careful with your food.
12. Make your own mixes and substitutes. The Internet is full of great recipes for homemade baking mixes, breadcrumbs, even cream soups. By making your own recipe ingredients, you can save quite a lot.