Building That Savings Nest Egg — Smart Shopping

In part one of this series, I offered a few basic tips that we can all follow to save a few bucks on a daily basis. Now let’s take a look at how we can stretch those dollars at the grocery store.

 1. Always make a shopping list.

The weekly trip to your local food market can be a very costly one if you don’t know exactly what you are going in there for. All you know is that you need to stock up on food for you and your family. You walk up and down each and every isle, scanning the shelves, and throwing everything that looks good to you in the cart. When the cashier totals your bill, your heart may skip a few beats, and you wonder, “What in the World did I buy”. When you keep a shopping list, you may likely cut that bill in half. Keep your list in one part of your house, and when you think of something you need, write it down. Keeping a shopping list will not only help you get through the store faster, but you will also be less tempted to buy groceries that you will probably never consume.

 2. Purchase generic or store brands.

These are found in every supermarket you walk into. Many people believe they are sacrificing quality when buying the generic or store brand products. Most likely, that is NOT the case. A big-name brand of canned vegetable, for example, may cost you at least $.89. However, a store brand of the same veggie, may only be $.49. Just remember that a green bean is a green been, no matter what the name is on the outside of the can.

 3. Never shop while you are hungry.

How much needs to be said about this one? If you walk into the store with an empty stomach, you will end up purchasing more food than you wanted to. Have a snack before you shop.

 4. Freeze foods.

Stores are always offering specials in most departments. I usually stretch my shopping dollars by freezing meats, fruits and vegetables. If you find that a bag of carrots is on sale, it’s a good idea to purchase a couple of bags of them. That second bag can be stored in the freezer and can be cooked and consumed many months later. The same can be said for most garden products such as potatoes, grapes, green beans, strawberries, and much more.