More Tips on Lowering Your Grocery Bill
Stay Away from 100 Calorie Snack Packs. It might be convenient to have a 100 calorie snack pack handy whenever you' or the kids are hungry, but you are paying a fortune for those prepackaged snacks. This is the way manufacturers are significantly increasing the cost of food without the consumer realizing it. If you like the convenience of snack packs, buy the products you like in bulk and sort them into plastic bags for easy use.
Stop Buying Bottled Water. The myth that bottled water is so much better than tap water is just that -- a myth. At least 40 percent of bottled water comes directly from municipal water districts in other cities, therefore, you might be paying a premium for water that isn't any better than the water coming out of your tap. And bottled water is outrageously expensive. Bottled water costs you 6000 times more than the same amount of water from your tap. And those plastic containers and bottles are very hard on the environment, and think of all the fuel used to ship those bottles to your local supermarket. Americans use 2.5 million bottles of water every single hour. Billions are wasted in this country each year on bottled water and it's one of the dumbest things Americans waste their money on. If you drink bottled water because your local water tastes bad, you can significantly improve the taste of your tap water by letting it sit out so the chlorine can evaporate. Just fill up a gallon jug and let it sit out for half a day and much of the bad chlorine taste will go away. Average annual savings for a family of four: $800.
Don't Buy Organic All the Time. Some fruits and vegetables are over sprayed with all sorts of nasty pesticides while others are not. It is a complete waste of money to buy organic produce when buying non-organic is just as good. The best example of this is broccoli. It doesn't take a lot of pesticides to grow broccoli so there is no reason to pay more than double per pound for this vegetable. Other vegetables, like corn and onions, also require little pesticide use. Fruits and vegetables with thick rinds are reasonably safe from pesticides. Some fruits and veggies, like peaches and berries, are sprayed generously with pesticides, so one might want to choose organic here. Consumer Reports did a study several years ago and found only negligible residues of pesticides on non-organic produce.
Don’t buy spices at the supermarket. You can save a whopping 85 percent on spices if you buy them in bulk at a health food store rather than at the supermarket. The supermarket chain, Trader Joe’s sells spices for significantly less than other supermarkets. Avoid the name-brand spices like McCormick’s and purchase off brands instead, such as the Great Value line of products sold at Walmart, including spices.
Wine and beer. If you are willing to buy wine that has a blemish on its label or a discontinued bottle design, you can find good wines at bargain prices at AccidentalWine.com or Wine-searcher.com. Flash sales of wine occur at Cellarthief.com. Most people don’t realize that many supermarkets will give you a 20% discount if you purchase six or more bottles of wine at the same time and the wine in supermarkets is cheaper than at a wine store. Many wines start to be deeply discounted in late summer to early fall when grapes are harvested and new wines are coming on to the shelves. Shop for wine at Costco since it is not only about 30 percent less expensive than wine stores, it is known for its quality and is often picked as a good place to buy quality wine at a discount. Greek and Spanish wines taste just as good, but cost about 25 percent less. Supermarkets usually put beer on sale around holidays, such as Independence Day and Labor Day. If you like to drink beer regularly, stock up when it goes on sale.
Ways to Save Money
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Join a Supermarket’s Savings Club. If you aren’t concerned about a supermarket keeping track of your purchases, you can join its savings club and save up to 20 percent every time you shop. Customers are issued loyalty cards and have access to special deals and coupons. Some stores might allow savings club members to double coupons as well and have exclusive access to buy one, get one free deals. Some stores might allow you to earn points towards free merchandise or cash back. For example, many stores allow customers who participate in their loyalty programs to earn discounts on gasoline purchased at the pumps outside the store. Many supermarkets allow you to download coupons from the internet onto your loyalty cards for extra savings. If you can’t keep track of all your loyalty cards and you have a smartphone, visit the website SavingStar.com to download an app that will help you keep track of all your loyalty cards. KeyRing.com offers an app that allows you to scan in your loyalty cards to your smartphone.
Join a Warehouse Club. If you are willing to spend about $50 for an annual membership, joining a wholesale club like Costco or Sam’s Club might result in savings of up to 50 percent on certain products, particularly canned goods such as soups, vegetables, beans, boxed pasta mixes and the like. You can share a membership with friends and family and go shopping together. You can purchase bulk groceries at wholesale prices from Amazon.com too.
Buy Flowers at the Grocery Store and Not From a Florist. Fresh flowers at the grocery store cost less than half of what they would if you purchased them from a florist.