Personal finance blogger Girl with the Red Balloon put together a list of 11 ways she saves money at grocery stores.
The key to many of her tips is to restrict your exposure to impulse-buy opportunities. An excerpt:
5) Learn where your food is in the store and only visit those aisles. In my formative years of living on my own, I dated a man who walked down each and every aisle while grocery shopping. It would drive me crazy, mostly because it wasted so much time. I’ve learned now that I buy a lot more when I go down every aisle. Now, I look at the signs at the end of each aisle and only walk down the ones that have something I need.
6) Get over your loyalty to big brands. Before I met D, I was the world’s worst for paying for the most expensive brand of milk in the store. “It’s what my parents used when I was growing up! It’s just better,” I’d pathetically try to rationalize. I’ve since accepted that store brand milk tastes just the same. And guess what? I spend 50% less buying the store brand of milk instead of the name brand. The savings aren’t quite as much on other products, like shredded cheese, but it’s still there. The only thing I’ve not bought store brand yet is cheese squares for my grilled cheese sandwiches, but I’ve also not needed to buy cheese singles for two months because I didn’t use them all the last two trips.
Question your loyalty to these name brands. Why do we think they’re better? Is it because you’ve tasted both brands and know the store bought brand tastes considerably worse? Then, fine. Buy the name brand. But if it’s just because it’s what you’re used to, give it up for one trip to the store. Try the generic store brand one time and see how you feel.
What do you do to cut your grocery store expenditures?
Take that, grocery store! 11 tips to help you save [Girl with the Red Balloon]