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Stretching Money at the Grocery Store

No one should ever have to go without proper sustenance for their family. I have spent many years developing a system of stretching money when it comes to buying groceries. Getting the most food for your buck is a lot easier than most people think.

Avoid large grocery chain stores. Weekly circulars sent to residents in the mail seem to be money savers, the truth is, they aren’t. Any retail grocery chain that requires a scanned savings card to get items at a discount isn’t offering a discount. They are simply offering to sell you the selected products advertised at the actual retail price of their competitors. They are marking the selected products up, and giving the consumer the privilege to pay the actual retail price by presenting a shopper’s card at the check out.

Shop in unlikely places. Most states have retail stores that sell merchandise for one dollar. The new trend in these stores is to include a grocery section. Most people will question why food items would be sold at such a low price. Rest assured there is nothing wrong with the food. They are able to obtain these items due to overstock. The manufacturer must sell food items below retail price just to avoid taking a total loss when the product goes out of date or decomposes (as in the case of produce, eggs, or milk).

Do not buy laundry detergent, paper products, or cleaning supplies from grocery stores. You will pay significantly more for those types of products when you buy them from retailers that specialize in food sales. Take the time to make those purchases at discount stores that sell more housewares than food. To keep your budget under control, alternate weeks you will buy groceries and cleaning supplies. Do not do both on the same pay period.

Not all coupons will save you money. Most people clip coupons hoping the savings will add up at the register. The truth is, people who do save big with coupon clipping have to invest many hours into the strategy, just to come out ahead. It’s a full time job for extreme coupon clippers. Many discount retail chains print and circulate their own coupons, so keep an eye out for those. For the rest of us, 50 cents off of a five dollar jar of mayonnaise will not justify the means if we can purchase the store-brand mayonnaise for two dollars in the first place. Coupons in your local Sunday newspaper are for name-brand items. Coupon clipping is a good idea for cleaning supplies and toilet paper, since most of us are inclined to only purchase name-brand detergents and cleaning supplies. If coupon clipping is a must, locate retailers that offer double coupon days.

Make as many stews, soups, and casseroles as possible. These meals feed large families for very little money, and can stretch into lunches for the next day. They can also be frozen and used days later for another meal. There is no shortage for recipes on the internet or in cook books for such meals. Many casseroles can be made from leftover food sitting in the refrigerator. Instead of throwing food away, reuse everything you can.

Wise spending isn’t only for people with limited income. Everyone can benefit each month by saving money on items they must buy for survival. Money saved each month by cutting grocery costs can be put into a savings account and used for a vacation, a new television, or to pay other bills. With proper knowledge, and using a little common sense, anyone can come out ahead at the check out.