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Cents and Sensibility

10 Tips to Save on Grocery Shopping

It is already November and you know what that means… Thanksgiving is right around the corner!

In your mind, you have already started to visualize dinner on the table and the many recipes that you should start preparing, right? Well, before you head to the grocery store to pile those carts with stuffing, mac and cheese, and chocolate cake ingredients, check out these 10 tips to save on grocery shopping.  But don’t just save them for Turkey Day.  These suggestions will work every week.

1. Plan It Out

You would be surprised how much money you save by restraining from impulse items. Sit in the comfort of your own home and write your detailed grocery list according to the items that you need. This way, you can reference your refrigerator and pantry and not duplicate items you already have.

2. Fill Up First

Never. Shop. Hungry. You do not want to be tempted to buy grocery items (not on your list) to satisfy temporary hunger.

3. Stocking Season

If a non-perishable item that you use a lot is on sale, stock up on it! If you know you will use it later, buy it now while it is on sale.

4. Do the Math

Double check prices vs. ounces! Sometimes it is cheaper to buy two small sizes that equals in ounces rather than a big one.

5. Clip those Coupons

Use store and manufacturing coupons to save on your purchase. Find coupons in store ads, newspapers, and online such as: couponing-lady.com, grocerycouponsforfree.org, and coupons.com.

6. There’s an App for That

Some stores such as Sam’s Club, Walmart, and Target offer smartphone applications that allow their customers to view the sales ad and save money on store items.

7. Better Shop Around

You may end up shopping at three different stores because each will have some, but not all items from your list on sale.

8. Research Paper

Check the sale prices and compare between brands before buying the products.Look for offers on sale too, Buy One Get One Free Offers are a great example.

9. Make a Match

Some retailers are willing to give you the lower price of their competitor. Make sure to take the competitor’s ad with you for some great price-matching possibilities.

10. Bulk Up

Bulk quantities are often, but not always, cheaper. Shop at Costco or Sam’s Club, if you have the storage for buying in bulk. This is a for sure way to save money in the long run.

Bottom line: if you plan ahead by looking through ads, making your grocery list, and price matching, you will save time and money this Thanksgiving!

About Dr. Karen Ratliff

Credit: Dr. Karen Ratliff

Dr. Ratliff is a certified life coach and professional educator, assisting many people in accomplishing financial, career, and educational goals.  She is also the author of “Tightening Your Bootstraps: 104 Tips to Kick Your Debt to the Curb Now.” Keep up with her budgetary advice via Twitter @drkarenratliff and her website at www.drkarenratliff.com