7 More Simple Ways to Slash Your Grocery Bill

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In a previous post we listed seven simple ways to dramatically cut your grocery bill. With food prices expected to rise even further in 2009, its more important than ever to take steps to slash your grocery costs.

Here are 7 more simple ways to save money in tough economic times.

Shop with a list. Grocery stores are supreme experts in getting you to buy things you don’t need. In fact, between  40%- 60% of all supermarket purchases are impulse buys.

Supermarkets are teeming with sales, deals, and special offers designed to take more money out of your pocket. By making a list and sticking to it you’re guaranteed to buy only what you need.

Cut Down on the Number of Trips You Make. Every single time you go into the supermarket you are entering a minefield of impulse temptations. By simply cutting  the number of grocery store visits in half, you cut in half the number of impulse purchases you’re likely to make.  You’ll also save time and gas.

Buy the Freshest Food Possible.
You want the absolute best value for your dollar.  You search for the freshest products possible. Unfortunately, grocery stores often rotate their stock so that the oldest products are closest to the consumer.

Milk, for example, that is closest to its expiration date is often at the front of the refrigerated display.  Next time you’re shopping, pick the milk jug furthest from the front or take the box of margarine farthest away from you.  These are usually the ones with the best expiration dates.

In addition, to buying the freshest milk, butter, eggs, and similar products, it doesn’t take much effort to find the freshest produce or meat. There’s nothing worse than spending good money on fruit only to get it home and it have ripen so quickly that you have to throw it out. Simply ask the produce manager or store butcher when the meat, vegetables, and fruits  are placed on the store floor.

Weigh Before You Buy.
Not all five pound bags of potatoes or one pound bag of carrots are made equal. In fact, there can be considerable variations in the weights of supposedly pre-weighed bags of produce.

A one pound  bag of carrots, for example, could contain .9 pounds or 1.1 pounds, a relatively significant swing of .2 pounds.  Most produce sections have scales where you can weigh bags of produce.

This same concept applies to items like heads of lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, and other produce which is priced per item. By weighing these items as well you can make sure you get the maximal amount of produce for your shopping dollar.

Skip the Grocery Cart. If you’re in the store for just for a few items, skip the grocery cart. Stores realize that people spend more when they don’t have to lug their items throughout the store.

In fact, many supermarkets have increased the size of their carts in order to get you to spend even more. By using a hand basket or your arms you’re much less inclined to purchase the impulse items that quickly inflate your shopping bill.

Try Hot Cereal for Breakfast. Processed cereals full of sugar are becoming increasingly expensive. Hot cereals like oatmeal and cream of wheat can be purchased for one half to one third the price.

They take only a few minutes to prepare in the microwave. Add some raisins or banana slices and you have a delicious morning meal at a fraction of the cost.

Avoid Pre-portioned Foods and Snack Packs. Why pay for a box containing 6 cookie snack packs when you can simply buy a whole bag of cookies for much less?  Its seems that food manufacturers are coming up with an increasing number of ways to create snack packs which they advertise as great for kids lunches and mid-meal snacks.

But the convenience of a snack pack usually comes at a premium.  Instead simply buy the large bag of chips or cookies, a bulk box of sandwich bags, and make your own snack packs.