Are you looking to cut expenses in your monthly budget? One of the easiest places to start is with your grocery bill. Learn the 4 tricks Domestic CEO uses to save money on her groceries each month. (Don't worry, you won't have to live on potatoes and ramen).
Well, if those items go on sale for a 10 for $10 sale (in other words, they are $1 each), using a coupon that is valued at $1 will get you that item for free. If the value on the coupon is greater than the price of the sale item, you could even get money back! It doesn’t happen very often, but almost every good couponer I know has gone into a store, only to leave with a bag of items and a few coins that a bewildered cashier was forced to hand over because the cash register came up with a negative number at the end. It’s a pretty cool feeling, and definitely worthy of social media bragging when you can accomplish it.
See also: 9 Ways to Become Coupon Savvy
Only cut coupons for items that your family will use. That way, you'll save money and stay safe from the temptation of buying junk food.
The key to saving on groceries while using coupons is to remember to only buy things you would normally eat. This takes some willpower because it's tempting to fill you cart with items that you're getting for dirt cheap. When I first started couponing, I was super excited to see that I could get bags of chips for around $1 when they're normally priced at $4 per bag. And yes, chips at that price are a smokin’ deal, but we don’t eat a lot of chips at my house, so every bag that I put in my cart was $1 more than I would have normally spent. I was losing money by using too many coupons. How's that for irony!
That's why I recommend only cutting coupons for items that your family will actually use. That way, you'll save money and stay safe from the temptation of buying junk food and other items that your family doesn’t even use, or is better off without.
Tip #4: Always Have a Plan
My final tip on how to save money on groceries is to never, I repeat, never walk into a grocery store without a list and a plan. When you walk into a grocery store with no plan, you are at the mercy of the store’s marketing department and your own hunger cravings. You know that annoying feeling of looking into your fridge only to realize that although it’s full, you have nothing to eat? I would put money on the fact that this happened after you went grocery shopping without a plan. Or, if you're like me, when I go into a store without a plan, I buy a bunch of unhealthy stuff like ramen noodles because it’s what I'm craving at the time (don’t judge me). Once I eat the junk, the craving is gone, and I’m left with 12 packages of ramen and a guilty conscience.
Before you go grocery shopping, always make a meal plan for the week. Additionally, check the store's circular to see what's on sale and take inventory of your fridge and pantry. Make a detailed list of the items that you need to make the meals on your plan, as well as the staple items to stock up on. Having a detailed list will help you go into the store, do a quick lap through the aisles, and get out before you're distracted by the store's marketing tricks. It does take some self control to not succumb to the big yellow "Sale!" signs that assault you every step of the way, but if you can commit to purchasing only the items on your list, you're definitely going to save yourself a lot of money.
So those are my 4 tips on how to save money on groceries. None of these tips are huge changes and none of them will dampen the quality or variety of your meals (quite the opposite). But putting them into effect will require a little extra effort in the beginning. Once you get into a routine, grocery shopping can even become a bit of a game. The days I come home having paid $25 for $80 worth of groceries, Mr. Domestic CEO gets to sit through a presentation of how much each item cost because I get that excited about saving. (Don't worry, he loves it).
Have you found other easy money-saving tricks to cut down on your grocery bills? Share them in the comments section or tweet me @thedomesticceo. Until next time, I’m the Domestic CEO, helping you love your home.