We went grocery shopping yesterday. I am always on the lookout for savings, and I was pretty happy that I got a cart load of groceries for $75. With a family of 5, I think that is doing pretty well! I just thought I would offer up a few tips that I use for saving at the grocery store :)
1. Wal-Mart is usually NOT the cheapest place to get groceries. Their prices are consistently low, but there are ways to save at the grocery store even moreso than at Wal-Mart. Although, Wal-Mart will usually match the grocery store ad prices if you bring the flyer along with you. I just prefer not to go to Wal-Mart myself, mostly because of the crowds. The local grocery store also usually offers better customer service, like drive-up service to pick up your groceries, or a bag boy/girl to help you get them to your car. I have to say that I have really appreciated that service, especially when I have some squirrely children along with me :)
2. Shop the local grocery ads. You can get some great deals doing this! Usually the front page and the back page have the best deals listed on them. The best deal I got at the store this week was to buy two Dole bagged salads (2 for $5), and get a pint of grape tomatoes, a bag of shredded carrots, a cucumber, and a bottle of salad dressing all for free. I also got fresh mangos for $.79 each, and apples for $.49 a pound.
3. Clip coupons, but use them wisely! I clip coupons, but am cautious about how I use them. If I am going to use a coupon for something, it usually has to be on sale as well, otherwise it is not worth it to me. This week, I got some Red Baron pizzas for cheap. They were on sale for something like $3.79, plus I had $1 off coupons. My husband likes my home cooking, but does appreciate the junky food every now and then!
4. Buy less pre-packaged foods. We all love convenience foods, but they can get expensive, plus they really aren't that good for you. It does take more work to cook from scratch, but if you make extra it will last for a meal or two. Heating up leftovers is just as convenient as popping a frozen pizza in the oven. I don't usually buy convenience food unless is it on sale and/or I have a really good coupon to go along with it.
5. Know where the store clearance areas are. I have gotten plenty good deals shopping this way. One of my latest deals was buying several large bottles of John Frieda hair conditioner for $1.00 each. I have also gotten ziploc baggies for $.50 a box this way too.
6. Stock up when there are really good sales. If there is a product on sale that you will consistently use, it is worth it to buy alot of it. A while back at our grocery store, they had Secret deoderant and Xtreme Sport deoderant on sale for $1.00 each. My husband and I both like those brands, and we bought around $20 worth of deoderant. Those deoderants usually cost around $4 each, so at $1 each it was definitely worth it to stock up.
7. Check your receipt after you check out. I do this consistently, and you would be surprised at how often there are mistakes that result in being overcharged. One time there was a difference of over $8.00! It has happened often enough that I make an effort to check it every time. If you are overcharged, take your receipt to the customer service counter and show them what you were overcharged for. Sometimes the stores just didn't get the sale price in the computer correctly, or an employee may have mislabeled a product. Most of the time the store will be happy to sort out the errors with you and give you the difference of what you were overcharged for.
These are some of my tips for saving money at the grocery store. If you have any more tips, feel free to share!