Sometimes it’s a struggle for me to come up with money saving tips to share. My frugal lifestyle and savvy shopping skills are just so natural for me. They’re habits established through years of practice.
I have a finely tuned system when I go to the grocery store. I don’t even think about it anymore; I just have it down to a science. It’s mostly about discipline and routine, but I’ve narrowed it down to a few specific habits that you can replicate when you shop.
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Create Savvy Shopping Habits 1 of 8Here are a few simple hints to will hep you establish your own smart shopping habits.
Keep a Running Grocery List 2 of 8You've heard it before — don't go into the store without a list and stick to it. But, we take it even one step further. I keep a grocery list on the fridge for the entire family to add to as we get low on things. This way, I don't leave something off the list and need a 2nd trip to the grocery store.
Shop Sales 3 of 8It's more than just finding a sale price on the things you use every day. I actually use the sale items to figure out what things I'll buy. If chicken is on sale, that's what we'll work into the menu, and our side dishes for the week will be based on what produce is on sale at the stores.
Photo Credit: Flickr user quinnanya
Check the Clearance 4 of 8Every grocery store has a clearance section — find it, use it, love it. Check the produce, meat, and dairy sections for markdowns too. They'll sell short-dated items at low prices to move them quickly. I buy what we can use before the expiration date and even more if it's an item I can freeze.
Don’t Forget the Coupons 5 of 8It doesn't do any good to clip coupons if you never remember to use them. Keep them where you can't help but see them! Attach coupons to your grocery list, keep them in a reusable bag pocket or store them right next to your credit card. Whatever it takes to be sure you hand over the coupons before you pay for your groceries.
Stock Up 6 of 8Take full advantage of the deals you find to stock up until the next sale. Don't just buy one — buy how ever many you can use. Grocery store sales cycle every month or so, and I buy as much as we'd use in that time.
Photo Credit: Flickr user phil_g
Keep Track of Prices 7 of 8Pay attention to how much you're spending in the store to be sure you aren't going over budget. You should also keep track of prices on the basic items you buy. That way, you'll know a good deal when you see it.
Photo Credit: Flickr user sykez
Shop Around 8 of 8Don't be afraid to shop around for a better deal, even on groceries. I do most of my shopping at the store nearest to me, but I like to stop at other stores when I'm nearby. I pickup my favorite gluten free items at the health store near my sister, shop great deals at another grocery store near my daughter's school, and shop Costco every couple months when I'm already in the area.
Photo Credit: Flickr user timo_w2s
More from Heather:
Reusable Bags and Coupon Organization