There are two ways to save money on your groceries: buy less or pay less. “Buying less” always sounds like you have to diminish your lifestyle. And “spending less” sounds like you have to go into the supermarket with a bag full of coupons. True, these are ways to cut down on your grocery shopping bills—but, with a little thought, you can reduce your spending in other ways, too.
Reuse. You may be able to buy less because you are using less or reusing the same things more than once—such as plastic bags and containers. You can also buy less, making things last longer.
Another way to buy less and save on your grocery shopping is to buy smart and think about all the things that you might be wasting because they’ve gone bad or expired before they get used. This often happens with items such as large yogurt containers and some fruits and vegetables. Ditch disposables. Also, think about all of the disposable items you might be buying that could be replaced by a permanent item…permanent coffee filters, plastic food containers instead of disposable bags, razors for shaving, even water filters.
Be careful with your coupons. The same thing goes for coupons. Sure, coupons are a great way to save money on groceries, but if you’re buying things you normally wouldn’t buy (or you’re buying twice as much to get the special sale price), you may actually end up spending more. Sometimes the coupon offers are higher-priced items than the store brands.
Try to avoid impulsive buying. Many people buy impulsively because the products are there on the shelf in front of them. Don’t go to the grocery store hungry—or without a list.
Purchase non-food items elsewhere. You may find that non-food items, such as vitamins, paper products, beauty, and personal care items may be less expensive at your local discount store. If you love particular products, price them online. Be wary of supermarket tricks. These are things like raising the price of a popular brand for about two weeks then “price-cutting” to just below the original price to make it look like it’s a special offer. For more ideas on saving money on groceries, visit the Clemson University Home and Garden Information Center.
The Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer.
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