Budget Help Tip of the Week: Saving at the Grocery Store

Before our last grocery excursion, my wife and I were discussing at which market we would spend our hard earned dollars. After much debating we decided there had to be a better (and cheaper) way to shop. We always decided what we wanted to eat, then made a list, and hoped some of the items would be on sale or at least in season prices. Inevitably we walked away shaking our heads at how much we spent on groceries. These days I try to average under $12 per bag. If I spend $50, I hope to have four or five bags of groceries for my efforts.

Grocery Store

We decided to meal plan based on the sales advertised by two of our closest supermarkets. After our meals were chosen and our list was made, we were off to the stores. My wife dropped me off at grocery store A, and she proceeded to grocery store B. At this point she called me and our experiment began. We each had a copy of the grocery list and we proceeded simultaneously through both stores.

The approach is really quite simple: if it was cheaper at my store, I bought it. If she found the less expensive item, then it went into her cart. We were shocked to find a nearly even split of expense between the two of us. She had purchased about $45 worth of items and I had spent about $60. The results: MORE THAN WORTH IT.

Here is a breakdown of our own budget help experiment: Meal planning (with the help of a Sunday paper to get the ads ahead of time) saved us about $15 on ONE trip to the store. Assuming two large shops a month and a few supplemental trips here and there, I would peg the average savings at $30 OR MORE per month. On top of that, we saved ANOTHER $30 to $50 a month by shopping at both grocery chains at the same time. We did not have to become coupon obsessed or anything drastic, and we easily found a way to save over $50 a month on groceries. What would YOU do with an extra $600 a year?

Little changes can add up to BIG savings. Want to create a budget and get more money saving tips? Call LSS Financial Counseling at 888.577.2227 or GET STARTED ONLINE. Don’t wait to improve your finances – take action today!

Author Malcolm Johannessen with LSS is a Certified Financial Counselor and specializes in Foreclosure Prevention Counseling.

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