No matter how much money you have, I know you don't want to be throwing it away on groceries that you don't need or that you will ultimately be wasting. Here is a little guide with ideas that I use to save money grocery shopping and get the most out of my food dollars.
1. Limit Your Visits to the Grocery Store.
Reducing the frequency of your grocery store visits will reduce the amount of money you spend there. This is true because everytime you go into the grocery store to "just get a couple of things", it always ends up being more than "just a couple of things". Try to get everything you need in two visits per month. I know that seems almost impossible, but really try it and stick to it and it will work. If you absolutely need something in between visits, such as baby formula, send your husband because he will usually come out with only that.
2. Choose Your Recipes Before You Go to the Store.
This is one of the best ideas I've came up with for us. If you go through some cookbooks with simple recipes or even online, such as Campbell's Kitchen, print off some recipes with the same ingredients. By doing this, you will save money by not having to get so many items. For example, if you get a bag of chicken breast, a large bag of cheese and tomato sauce, you can make many different things out of those few items. That will last you at least a couple weeks for a few recipes. Try chicken parmesan in the skillet with those three items. Just remember to plan out two weeks at a time. Crockpot meals are always easy, good and usually inexpensive (depending on what you choose). When you go to the store, get only the ingredients on your list that you need and make the most of them. Choose your recipes wisely.
3. Get ONLY the Items You Need.
Don't keep looking over all of the new items that just came out or the items that tempt you to buy for the heck of it, especially if you really know you're not going to use it. Every time you pick something up, say to yourself, "do I really need this?", "Am I really going to use this?" Stay strict to your list and you can't go wrong.
4. Buy the off brands.
Get the inexpensive, off brands. What's wrong with them? Just because you don't see that brand advertised all over the place does not mean that it isn't just as good as the advertised brands. You can save a lot by doing this. I just recently this year started doing this and I can tell you, it works to help save money. I bet you didn't realize that the off brands are actually manufactured by one of the top, well-known brands. For example, the Wal-mart brand of peanut butter is actually JIF peanut butter. They just have contracts stating they have to sell it for less because they're putting their own label on it and just not making as much profit as JIF is making on it. That's proof that the off brands are just as good as the advertised brands. My mother in law is a hunger action enabler and she finds these things out through her work all the time.
5. Try to Avoid Getting Items that Spoil Quickly.
Try to get long-lasting staple foods and only spoiling foods that last more than a week (unless you've planned it with your recipes). By doing this, you save money by not having to throw rotting fruit out before it's had a chance to be used.
6. Get Items that are Cheap and Feed Many People.
These items can be things such as rice, beans or chicken. You can get them in bulk, they don't spoil quickly and they feed many people. Something that is really good is tortellini with some type of sauce. You can get a little bag of it for around $2.50 and it feeds 4-5 people. Another little tip that I do everytime is to buy a french bread loaf at the bakery in the grocery store and freeze it. Those usually run about $1.00-1.50 and can last you a couple of weeks. By freezing it, you won't have to deal with mold and spoiling. If you want to make it garlic, buy the little tub of garlic spread in the bakery for $1.00. That in itself compared to buying a box of garlic bread will tripple your savings and product amount. It's a no brainer.
7. Clip Coupons.
I know it seems old fashioned, but just do it. My friend recently got $98 worth of groceries for $17 by doing this. It's easier than it used to be. Go to couponbug.com and choose the ones you want! Look in your local newpaper, too. Clip away and they will add up.
I hope you take some of these suggestions and put them into use. They will work and save you lots of money every month.