1. Make a weekly list of menus before you go to the store. It’s a good idea to plan meals around advertised specials. This advanced planning serves as a guide to your grocery shopping and will save you money and time.
2. Have a list and organize it according to categories in the store, such as frozen food, fresh fruits and vegetables, etc.
3. Use coupons to save money on items you need and use. Just because you have a coupon doesn’t mean you should buy the item. Compare costs and only use the coupon if it will serve your purpose.
4. Shop when stores are less crowded. Depending on your schedule, shopping is easier when the stores are least crowded which is often early in the morning, mid-morning and mid-afternoon.
5. Don’t go to the store hungrey. When possible, you should shop after you have eaten. Otherwise, everything will look good and you will probably over buy – and maybe over-eat!
6. Compare prices on different brands.
7. Buy foods that are in season. These are generally less expensive than buying them out of season.
8. Most prepared foods cost more than those made “from scratch”. You have to weigh the comparisons. For example, you could buy whole cheese rather than shredded cheese because it will probably be cheaper if you shred the cheese yourself. Again, you will have to compare the costs.
9. Using dry milk in cooking can stretch the food dollar.
10. The type of store at which you shop makes a difference in the cost of food. You may find a particular store that meets your needs or you may shop around for the best buys. Some consumers have many choices of stores, such as self-serve supermarkets versus specialty supermarkets. There are discount supermarkets, farmers’ markets, delicatessens, twenty-four hour convenience stores, roadside stands, and others.
These are just a few ways to save time and money. Can you add more? The Chef would love to hear what you are doing to save time and money at the grocery store.