One Trick to Save Hundreds on Your Grocery Bill

Practical ideas for heart and hoe on Love Your Life Friday at karenehman.comEach Friday we’re featuring a practical idea from a team of creative women who will provide fabulous DIY projects, recipes, money-saving strategies, decorating ideas, holiday activities and even spiritual growth tools that will help you to live your priorities and love your life. We hope it will give you some helpful weekend projects to do alone or with a friend or two.

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save hundreds on your grocery bill

Everyone I know – especially in today’s economy is always seeking to save a penny when we can – specifically on groceries. While there are many ways to save on groceries, today I’d like to talk about just ONE simple step you can take that can save you hundreds of dollars each year on your groceries and other necessities you shop for.

Are you ready for it?

Simply put: Don’t buy things just because they are on sale.

What do I mean? Let me explain.

It’s no secret that retailers and grocers can “trick” us into giving them our business. Often times they do this through their “sales”. By making the sales or coupons for multiple items, often times we are purchasing more than we need just to get a good deal. But is it really a good deal?

How To Determine If You’re Getting a Good Deal

A good deal looks different for everyone. For some people it’s just getting the item(s) they are purchasing for the cheapest amount possible. For others it is just staying on budget as a whole, not so much the individual prices. No matter how a good deal looks to you – you can ask a couple of questions to evaluate whether or not you are getting a good deal in the scope of your own personal goals.

1. Will you use what you are buying?

This is simple enough, right? Well sometimes it is hard for some to remember that if you buy something with the intention of using it, but never do (even if it’s on sale), it is a waste of money. Therefore it is not a good sale for you. This alone has saved me a lot of money when I’m tempted to buy things in bulk that I won’t even be using.

2. Are you being tricked by the numbers game?

Sometimes prices will be jacked up before the sale to make you “think” you’re getting a good deal, when in fact you are paying regular price! No kidding! I learned this in the late 70’s shopping with one of my great-grandmothers – and she was right. I see it happen all the time to this very day!

3. Can you live without it?

Seriously. It is an important question to ask. ESPECIALLY if you are trying to save for something special, this can be a huge budget drainer. If you can live without that “extra” treat for a while, then do so. It will amaze you how much money you’ll save when perusing for sale items when you realize that even though it’s a great price, you don’t need it!

Your Turn!

What is your ONE tip for saving hundreds of dollars on groceries and other items each year? We’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment in the comment section below.

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  • I’ve been told that I pray well but my husband however, needs help in the prayer department. I want him to be the spiritual leader of our household. I think he could better live out that role if he had more confidence in how he prays. I hope I win the prayer basket!

  • I couldn’t agree more, Carlie!

    My #1 trick is similar to yours – don’t waste food! I wrote a post on my blog that talked about this in detail, but the main idea is that throwing food away isn’t any different than throwing cash in the trash.

    Thanks for sharing. Blessings to you and yours.
    (Yours, too, Karen!)

    ~Heather @ My Overflowing Cup

  • In my town, we have Brookshires grocery store. In their circular, they give extra bonus points like +100 or 200 for buying certain items like 2 milks or 4 things of cereal. We eat a lot of cereal and use a lot of milk so this is good for us because we can use those bonus points for 10 cents off the gallon for every 100 points. Also they regularly have buy one get one free. We will usually price comp those at the local Walmart since their prices are generally lower. We only do this on our regular items that we buy. We might occasionally try something new but not often.

  • So true. Over the years, I’ve had to figure out that balance for our family, so that I’m falling into that sweet spot of value vs. waste. And, once my boys move out, I’m sure it’ll be a new learning curve for me to learn how to lessen what I buy again.

    Great article, thanks for sharing. :)

    One tip from our household–hmmm–probably cooking things in bulk and freezing them. I can buy a surplus, make big meals (I use my large electric roasting pan to cook large amounts, and then portion them into meal-sized containers to freeze.) This also helps with not eating out on the busier days. :) And, oftentimes I’ll not do a lot of meals, but just double what I’m cooking that night and put one half in the freezer for another meal. Takes less times to double the amt. on one night than it does to cook from scratch on two. :)

    ~ Blessings ~

  • My family has always lived on a tight budget. There are four adults ( myself, hubby and our two kids) in our household. When it’s time for grocery shopping, every two weeks, we go thru the pantry, cupboards & freezer to see what we have left over. Then we make a menu, using those items and items we will purchase. When the menu is done we write down everything, yes everything, needed for each meal. Now it is time to make our shopping list. I have made a master list in excel (print them off) of the things we buy most often. We just check off what we need and note how many of each or how many meals it is for. There are extra spaces for things we don’t buy regularly. It keeps on budget and has worked for us for years.
    The menu isn’t in stone!! We can change things around if needed but we have all the items we will need. Before starting the menu we note meetings, games or if someone will be gone on the appropriate days which also helps in planning.
    Hope this can help someone else stick to a budget.