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10 Tips to Save on Your Grocery Bill.

Posted by gottabkd on Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Is sticker-shock over prices at your local supermarket getting you down? Are you seeing the prices of food rise and the portion sizes drop?
As food costs continue to rise, a few money saving tactics can really help trim that food bill.
Of course the USA has waaay better programs for couponing than most Canadian Provinces, but we Canucks can trim our bill by following some simple tricks.

1. Join a warehouse club. Bulk retailers such as BJ’s Wholesale Club and Costco can be 20 to 50 percent cheaper than regular grocery stores when it comes to products like condiments, coffee, bottled water, and canned beans and vegetables. Visit the websites of clubs like BJ’s (www.bjs.com; $45 annual fee), Costco (www.costco.com; $50), and Sam’s Club (www.samsclub.com; $40) to determine which has the best location and product mix for you and join online.

Tip: Know the regular prices before you go though, as not all things in bulk are less expensive at these stores. For example, 750gram of Nescafé Regular coffee was actually three dollars more at Costco the day I was there. Also, a three jar package of Classico Pasta sauce was a full four dollars more than the current local sale of an individual sauce. Buying three on sale was cheaper than Costco. So know your prices in advance. Share the cost of membership with family members (especially if you are single).

2. Download coupons. Check Cool-Savings, Save.ca (www.coolsavings.com, www.save.ca) for deals on frequently purchased items and try to shop when the product is on sale.

Tip: Do not order coupons if you are not going to use them as this will add to impulse buying on things you do not necessarily need at the time. Or share them with your neighbours… trade for ones you will use.

3. Join grocery savings clubs at local supermarkets. These free programs entitle cardholders to members-only savings on selected products, a benefit that could shave about 18 percent off your total grocery bill. The catch: The stores keep tabs on what customers are buying to study different segments of the shopping population.

Tip: This tactic is no longer available in the province of Ontario, but the Eastern provinces may still have this option.

4. Avoid buying prepared and packaged goods. You’ll pay a premium for convenience. Consumer Reports once found that two pounds of carrots cost $1.29, compared with $7.16 for the same amount of precut sticks.

5. Buy store brands instead of name brands. Store brands are usually close to the market leader in quality yet less costly. In fact, the same manufacturer that makes the branded product often manufactures the house brand.

6. Pick products on the top and bottom shelves at the supermarket. Bigger sizes of items, which tend to offer a lower price per unit, are usually placed on the highest or lowest shelves. Smaller sizes, with a higher price per unit, are often given prime placement at eye level and within your childs reach.

7. Shop without your children…. if at all possible. This saves on the impulse shopping that adds to the bill.

8. Buy local, buy on sale. This goes without saying really, but when a product is on sale, stock up. When it is in season, eat it in abundance… after all the season is short.

9. Do not go food shopping while hungry. This also adds to the impulse bulge especially when the tummy is grumbling.

10. For the same reason above, shop for food when you are in a good mood. This will help you choose healthy choices as opposed to the junk food we crave for comforting us.

So there you go… 10 tips to trim the bulge of your grocery bill.
Cheers

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