Would you like an extra $100 a month? How about $200? Perhaps you could use it to pay off a credit card quicker, save for a vacation, or help support your favorite charity? For most Americans, finding an extra $100 a month is as easy as making some small changes in your grocery shopping habits.
Make a grocery list
Grocery stores spend a lot of money creating an environment that encourages you to make impulse purchases. Fight the urge to pick up those expensive end cap items by making a grocery list before you go to the store and sticking to it while you shop.
Use cash only
Leave those debit and credit cards at home and bring cash to the grocery store. You can't go over budget if you only have $75 to spend each week. Using cash forces you to stick to your list and stay under budget.
Stay away from convenience foods
They might be convenient, but they are usually two to three times more expensive than the whole foods version of the same thing. Make your own pancake mix, oatmeal packets, and cut your own fruit and veggies to save more at the supermarket.
Stock up on loss leaders
Every week grocery stores sell a few items at a loss to get shoppers in the store. They know that most shoppers will buy one loss leader and ten other items at regular price. Use your store's circular to identify the weekly loss leaders and stock up so you won't have to purchase that item again until it is on sale.
You don't even need the Sunday paper to use coupons anymore. You can print grocery coupons right from your computer! Match coupons with sale items to maximize your grocery savings.
f these small changes seem overwhelming at first, start with making a list. Each week add another strategy until you've outsmarted the grocery marketers. Before you know it you'll be saving a hundred dollars a month or more at the grocery store.
The Happy Housewife, where she blogs about practical ways to live well, save more and have fun. Toni is a military wife and stay-at-home (schooling) mom to seven kids. She is also a Savings.com DealPro and teaches Savings Nation workshops that help people learn how to save up to 50% off their grocery bills.
Bonus tip: Always make sure you get strong plastic bags.