Monday, March 2, 2009

Tips For Saving Money on Groceries

When my wife and I decided it would be good for her stay home with our kids, we knew we were going to make sacrifices. Fewer trips to our favorite restaurants. Significantly less disposable income. We even traded in one of our cars to free up some more money.

Then my wife said something that has really stuck with me. She told me that one of her new "jobs" was to find ways to save money. That meant buying less and making our purchases have more "bang for the buck." As time has gone by, we've found a number of ways to stretch our dollars. Today we're going focus on the grocery bill.

One of our biggest expenditures every month is on food. Remember, one of those things you sacrifice as a one-income family is eating out. As a result, you spend more money on groceries (but save a ton of money in the long run). Here are a couple of ways to save money on your monthly grocery bill without spending a full day travelling all over town to buy a few items at 4 different grocery stores.

  • Consider shopping at a discount store. For us, that meant Aldi (find your local Adli at I have to admit that I was a little skeptical at first. I mean, the whole paying a quarter to get a cart thing is a little strange. But the savings were undeniable. Our food bill was slashed when we started shopping at Aldi. There are some things you can't find at Aldi and some of the products there are way below par (the pre-packaged filet mignon tasted a lot like hot dog), you have to understand there will be a trade-off for saving that much money.

  • Coupons, coupons, coupons! You're not going to cut your bill in half by using coupons, but the minimal effort can save you a few dollars every trip. At that adds up. Look for websites that provide coupons ( and for instance). There is really zero work for you. Just take a look at the sites before you head to the store (or before you plan your week's shopping list) and find coupons for things are plan to buy.

  • Speaking of coupons, we've found that Hy-Vee actually has a coupon by e-mail service (sign up here). We signed up at our local Hy-Vee and have used a number of the coupons e-mailed to us. I'm not sure if other stores do this, but I would be shocked if Hy-Vee was the only one. Ask at customer service to see your favorite grocery store has this type of service.

  • Finally, embrace the leftover! I know some people just do not like leftovers. They practically refuse to save anything from a meal to eat later. Seriously?!? As a single income family, that just isn't an option. We regularly make meals for dinner that will provide lunches for the at least one or two days during the week. The cost of making a little extra pales in comparison to the cost of making a full meal at lunch every day.

These are just a few ways to save money at the grocery store. I would love to hear other people's tricks and tips.

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