1. Plan ahead!
One of my favorite quotes is Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail. It really is true when trying to lose weight, save money at the grocery store or whatever. I have a desk drawer that I keep recipes in that I want to try. I have a folder that I keep the ones in that I want to try soon. Then I have a folder that I keep all of the recipes that I plan to make for the week and a list of the meals I am planning to make. Next, I make a grocery list after checking my pantry. So, that is how I plan ahead for meals.
2. Cook from recipes
As I said before, I take my recipes and make a shopping list from recipes. The recipes are my planning guides. I also know exactly what I need and I won't run out during the week and have to go back, which saves gas money too because we have to go to the next county for lots of things that we can't get here or are higher priced.
3. Shop While Your Kids are Busy
I refuse to take all four of my kids grocery shopping with me. I have been there and done that and it makes it a really hard day! I can't concentrate on buying the lowest cost item. I just want to get out of there as quick as I can! I also don't have time to pull out my points calculator and see which food is the better choice. I will either go by myself on Saturday while dh keeps the kids or dh and I go together and Granny watches the kids! Kids also usually want something and that can make the bill higher too.
4. Shop on a full stomach
The Weight Watchers article recommends shopping after lunch or dinner. If you are full you will not give into those last minute impulses and end up spending more money than you should.
5. Savings are under your nose
Most stores stock expensive brands at eye level; look on the highest and lowest shelves for lower-cost generics and in-store specials. Also, give yourself a moment to peruse the in-store flyer with its unadvertised specials. I like most generic brands and use many quit easily.
6. Use coupons judiciously
Be honest with yourself and cut only the coupons you need. Saving 50 cents on jelly isn't any good if you weren't going to buy jelly in the first place. And save those coupons for when they really count; for your store's double or triple coupon days. I love coupons and as a Weight Watcher's member, we are given several for Weight Watchers foods. i probably would have never tried them if I did not have a coupon. I LOVE coupons!
7. Buying in bulk doesn't mean automatic savings
Dry goods and some convenience products are good bets for bulk-buying: Paper products, cleaning products, flour, sugar, vinegars, peanut butter and grains. Never buy oils (which go rancid), spices (which lose flavor) or perishables in bulk. A 10-pound box of apricots won't have saved you anything when you throw half of it away. I like to stock up on things when I find good deals, but I know some things just won't last and so I am careful of that.
8. Produce: Fresh vs. Frozen
Some produce is great frozen while others are not. Here is a list of which things you should buy fresh or frozen. Some are pretty obvious!
Fresh: cucumbers, ears of corn, greens, lettuce, radishes,zucchini/summer squash, apples/pears, bananas, citrus, pineapple
Frozen: beans/peas, bell pepper strips, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, chopped onions, corn kernels, winter squash puree, berries, peaches/apricots
9. Buy meat and fish once a month
I do like to buy meat when it is on sale. I try to buy most all of the meat I need in the beginning of the month. I need to search out sales more though!
10. Keep a cooler in your car
I live in a small town and I have to go to the next town. So this is an idea I really want to implement. The Weight Watcher's article says that your shelf life will be reduced by letting these items sit in your car. I have had trouble with ice cream so I started getting those brown bags that they have in the ice cream section and that seemed to help, but I love the cooler idea!
Well I hope you can use some of these tips to help you save money, but have great food that helps you stay on your personal eating plan.