Groceries on the Cheap

Posted by T | 8:48 PM | 0 comments »

I have to admit, I've never been a big fan of grocery coupons. My time is worth something to me, and I just don't have the patience to sit and clip the Sunday paper or two hours. Besides, better food deals can be found, and in places other than grocery stores.

I feed a family of four on about $200 every two weeks. That's $25 per person, per week. Some people can spend even less and make it last even longer, but I'm able to buy many items at a very low price that other people spend twice as much money to purchase.

Here are some of my tips for saving money on your food budget, which can be one of the biggest expenses in any home:

1. Try buying your food at a place other than a grocery store. I buy a lot of canned and boxed items at deep discount stores like Big Lots, Dollar General...even the local dollar stores. Take a close look at the food items these stores carry. There is usually a pretty good selection. Just stick to the foods you would normally buy. Also, these are the best places to buy cleaning and paper products, which can eat up a sizeable portion of the grocery bill.

2. Find the local discount grocery stores. Just about every town has a "discount" grocery store. You know the place...not very fancy, no deli counter and you might even be forced to bag your own groceries. These places may not look pretty, but they offer great prices.

3. Find the local butcher. Believe it or not, butcher shops or "meat stores" are kind of hard to find these days, and these places usually offer the good prices on meats. If you eat a lot of beef, you know meat can really put a dent in your food budget. Even better: find a local rancher or butcher who also sells bulk orders of meat to the public. This is a great option if you already have a large chest freezer.

4. Grow your own. If you have a green thumb and some space in your backyard, try growing some of your own fruits and vegetables.

If you MUST use coupons:

5. Find the stores which offer "double coupon" days. These will help you get the biggest bang for your buck. My wife is a coupon queen. I once saw her utilize in-store sales and double coupons and purchase $100 worth of groceries for $15! The check out clerk was shocked, and we left the store feeling like we ripped off the place.

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