How To Save Money On Groceries

By Steven Gillman

Of course you can save money on groceries by using coupons. Below is an explanation of how to best do that. Don't want to clip coupons? Me neither, and there are other ways to save. Those can be found here as well.

Coupons usually only save you money if you use them on things you normally buy or things that can replace what you normally buy. In other words, if you use a coupon to buy a new sugary "fruit" snack that you don't normally eat anyhow, you didn't save money, but spent more. Getting a different brand of orange juice for less with a coupon, or getting the same brand you normally buy for fifty cents less - that makes sense.

Coupons become especially valuable if you have stores in your area that offer "double coupon" days. They limit the doubling to coupons of fifty cents or less, though, and you need to use them the right way to get the most out of them. The "right way" is to buy the smallest size you can find of the coupon item.

Why? It is a matter of getting the lowest per-unit cost. For example, a doubled 50 cent coupon saves you $1 off a $4, 12-roll package of toilet paper, meaning it cost you $3, or 25 cents per roll. Use that coupon to save a dollar on the $1.39 4-roll package, though, and it costs you just 39 cents, or less than 10 cents per roll. Find dollar-size products that you have fifty-cent coupons for, and they are free.

Is it all worth it though? Clipping coupons and analyzing per-unit costs? Maybe, maybe not. There are simpler ways to save money on groceries, though.

Five More Ways To Save Money On Groceries

1. Never shop hungry. That's all there is to this tip, and you can figure out why this will save you money.

2. Try store brands. Some are as good as name brands and some aren't, but usually all are cheaper, so why not at least try them, but maybe without telling the kids.

3. Stock up during sales. We bought 20 or 30 cans of tomato paste when it was on sale for 10 cents per can. Stock up when things that are 30 to 80% off and you'll be eating cheap. Do this with any non-perishables.

4. Follow the per-piece/per-pound rule. When the price is per piece, buy the largest fruit or vegetable. You obviously get more for your money. Less obvious, is that you should buy small pieces when the price is per pound. You might buy four small bananas for the price of 2 large ones, but you'll still only eat one at a time, right? Again, you get more for your money.

5. Be an opportunist. Buy what you like - when it's on sale. Do you really need oranges every day? Get them when they're cheap. When they aren't, buy orange juice or grapefruit or whatever is on sale. As a grocery opportunist, you get plenty of variety. You even get everything you like, because everything goes on sale once in a while. Bonus: when fruits and vegetables are cheapest, they are also usually the highest quality, because the season is at it's height. This is a great way to save money on groceries.