How to Save Money on Groceries

Article posted in: Lifestyle

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, last year the average American household spent almost $4,000 on food to be consumed in the home—groceries—roughly 9 percent of the household’s income. Although that amount has held relatively stable the last few years, it’s still a good chunk of change. What’s a consumer to do? Here are some handy tips for saving money on groceries:

Buy seasonal produce at farmer’s markets or grocery stores.
That peach might be pretty tempting to you on a cold January day, as reminiscent as it is of a warm summer day, but chances are very good that if produce is out of season—in this case, way out of season—it will be imported and super-expensive. Same thing for big box stores: a recent study found that produce is on average 6 percent more expensive there than at grocery stores.

Buy in bulk. If you know you’ll go through a lot of staple foods and have a way to keep them fresh, buy in bulk to get lower per-pound prices. Items such as oats, rice, flour and sugar keep well in air-tight containers and can cost a much as 50 percent less per-pound when bought in bulk.

Consider joining a co-op. Worker-owned food co-ops offer deep discounts for a couple of hours of work each month. You’ll spend a few hours stocking shelves, then walk out with a reduced food bill.

Search the internet for deals. Before heading to the grocery store, do a quick Google search for manufacturer’s coupons you can either print or download, especially for items you know you’ll buy more than one of and have room to store.

Join your grocer’s loyalty program. Most grocery chains offer loyalty programs that provide deals for members. This time of year, your purchases over the course of a few weeks can get you a free turkey or ham.