Although I live with several other people, I do most of my shopping for one person. We all eat at different times, and have to share food storage. This is why a lot of money saving techniques just aren’t practical for me, so I’ve created a more realistic strategy.
1. Keep everything in plain view. I’ve wasted money buying another thing of lemon juice because I forgot I had it left. I did that twice. Keep track of what you have and organize your fridge and cupboards so you know where to look. This will keep you from buying things you already have, and will save time.
2. Beware of which coupons you clip and print. Although there’s nothing wrong with using a coupon to try something new, don’t print coupons for things you generally wouldn’t use. Also, don’t use coupons if they require you to buy more of a product than you need. Also, research the price of an item before you go to the store.
3. The same is true with samples. Companies offer samples to intice you to buy. If its a product that you like, than there is really nothing wrong with this since you’d buy it anyways, or may already have. But beware of feeling like you have to buy something just because you got a free sample.
4. Bulk is probably a bad idea. For some things this isn’t the case, but I don’t have the space for bulk, and it may not always be a better deal. Compare the unit price, and make sure the same units are being compared. Have too much of one product around may also lead to you getting bored and this could lead you to eating out more than you normally would.
5. Embrace leftovers. If you have a microwave, than leftovers are your best friend. They make an easy lunch to put together in the morning and are better tasting than eating a sandwich every day. Its also a nice break when you just don’t feel like cooking that evening, but don’t want to eat out.
6. Don’t be afraid to go to the grocery store frequently. Although you don’t want to shop while hungry, if you go regularly, you won’t be as tempted by marketing tricks or impulse buys. Just make sure you plan what you need before hand.
7. Take your own bag. Not only are they stronger, but if you limit yourself to buying only what can fit your bag, you won’t buy as much. Just remember to wash them frequently and give meat a separate bags.
8. If possible, walk to the store. This will save you money on gas and get you extra exercise, and you’ll also want to buy as little as possible, forcing you to reconsider extra purchases. If you do drive, either use a smaller cart, a basket, or nothing while shopping.