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Food - Groceries
Written by livecheap staff   
Thursday, 08 July 2010 03:13
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There’s nothing wrong with picking up a tip here or there on how to buy cheap groceries.  It’s all good and every little bit helps. But it's summer time and we'd like to extend you an invitation to attend our buy chStarkist5ozeap grocery training camp. If you make it through this rigorous training session, you should end up with an extra hundred or two in your pocket a month - every month. Many of you have already completed a good part of this course and you’re buffed up and good to go. But even some of our veteran cheapsters might learn a thing or two to hone up on their grocery saving skills. Here's 7 lessons to get cheap groceries:

1. Buy Cheap Store Brands

Resist the branded propaganda. We’re not saying it’s easy. You need to work at it. This is absolutely essential. If you’re actively working to control your grocery budget, avoid paying a stiff premium for reaching out for emotionally comforting products that gives you nothing but a familiar package. Remember, 80% of generic products are considered as good or BETTER than branded products.

Related Article: 10 Ways to Shift to Buying Generics

2. Avoid Shrinking Groceries

Don’t be fooled by packages that look full size but have shrunk. Manufacturers are shrinking the contents of everything from pasta sauce to orange juice. The key is to learn to read the size information on the package and compare the cost per ounce, gram, pound or whatever other measurement they give you. Don't worry, you'll likely have a calculator on your mobile phone if the math makes your head spin like 8th grade trigonometry.

Related Articles: Shrinking Groceries and our update Six More Shrinking Groceries from our readers.

3. Know the Grocery Scams

Grocery stores know how to work you over. Manipulating you starts the minute you walk through the door. Make sure you know all the tricks like pumping water into your meat and the trap of going for the milk and bread and ending up with a basketful of stuff you probably don't need. The more you know the less you are likely to blow your grocery budget. A great technique to keep from overspending is making a list and sticking to it and avoid going to the store hungry.

Related Article: 5 Grocery Scams

4. Use Coupons: Or Not

To Coupon or Not? Good question. The plus of coupons is that you can save money especially if you double the coupon or even triple it. Combine that with a sale and sometimes you can even get an item for free. The downside? The time and effort. If you are pressed for time, go for the easy layups like store coupons that often build upon sale prices to offer excellent deals. Sit down for 5 minutes before you go to the store and figure out what you are going to "steal" by getting the loss leaders that you need. More power to you if you can use coupons but you can still cut 20% or more off your food bill by being smart about what you buy and stocking up on super deals.  Cheap groceries don't always mean using coupons.

Related Articles: Free Groceries at Target and Cheap Groceries Without Coupons

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beachboui  - Are You Nutz?! |2012-01-24 15:06:11
"Just as happy with fake syrup..." ????
Do you care nothing about your family's health?

That fake syrup is nearly 100% high fructose corn syrup. HFCS is one of the leading causes of the the obesity epidemic we face in America. It is NOT the same as real maple syrup and is NOT digested the same in your digestive process. Don't take my word for it. Look it up.

HFCS has been perpetrated on the consuming public by food a processing industry that has NO conscience and does't care about the harm their products do, as long as it makes them wealthy.

Saving a couple of bucks by feeding your family garbage will take a toll on your family's health, and cost you more money in the long run. What is your family's health worth?

Saving $2 on cheap syrup now is foolish, short term gratification, in my view.

Spending a little more for healthier options and being aware of the evil ingredients in many processed foods, with a focus on long-term gratification will pay much, much large dividends. They just won't be obvious at the check out.

(These comments are MY opinion, and don't necessarily reflect the opinions of this website.)
beachboui  - Are You Nutz?! |2012-01-23 14:37:12
"Just as happy with fake syrup..." ????
Do you care nothing about your family's health?

That fake syrup is nearly 100% high fructose corn syrup. HFCS is one of the leading causes of the the obesity epidemic we face in America. It is NOT the same as real maple syrup and is NOT digested the same in your digestive process. Don't take my word for it. Look it up.

HFCS has been perpetrated on the consuming public by food a processing industry that has NO conscience and does't care about the harm their products do, as long as it makes them wealthy.

Saving a couple of bucks by feeding your family garbage will take a toll on your family's health, and cost your more money in the long run.

Saving $2 on cheap syrup now is foolish, short term gratification.

Spending a little more for healthier options and being aware of the evil ingredients in many processed foods, with a focus on long-term gratification will pay much, much large dividends. They just won't be obvious at the check out.

(These comments are MY opinion, and don't necessarily reflect the opinions of this website.)
Misty La Mont |2010-12-13 18:08:30
#6 I used coupons to help me stock my panrty. I made a list of 30-45 meals that my family enjoys, listing all the ingredients. Multiply by 6 and I astock up using a combinaton of great sales and coupons. A peak into my freezer 4 turkeys, 4 hams, 10 whole chickens, 30 misc chicken, 50 packages ground hamburger turkey or pork. 100 bags of frozen vegetables, misc yogurts at least 20 butter or margarine, and 50 frozen juice concentrate. In dry goods 20 cases of vegetables, 6 cases of fruit 50 boxes of cereal. Okay lets just say it looks more like a grocery store. I feed a family of 6 and 8 other children every meal and snacks during the day. I hardly ever run to the store to get anything in a pinch.
Misty |2010-12-13 17:55:31
I started couponing 3 months ago and what a diffrence it has made in my food budget. I have a family of 6, plus I babysit children out of my home. My grocery budget was about $1,000 a month. $200 for cleaning toiletries. With the use of coupons food $600, cleaning $100. I set a buy price and stick with that I try not to pay full price for any thing. I combine sales with coupons to get the best price possible. You tube is were I learned the basics, asked a few questions at the service desks of the stores I shop most at. I am not embarassed if anything I want to show others how to save as much as I do. My time is worth the $700 I am saving every month. Give it a try you just might have fun and enjoy all the money you are saving. My weekly savings are being put into an emergency account. Plus the stock pile of food and esentials Its a great peace of mind.
haverwench |2010-07-08 12:00:11
Regarding #7: Unless, of course, your family is just as happy with the fake maple syrup as with the real stuff. In that case, why pay extra? Premium food is kind of like premium gas: not worth the money unless your car (or your sophisticated palate) actually needs it.

As for coupons, I think it's worth mentioning that it does cost you something to get the coupons in the first place. If you don't already subscribe to the Sunday paper, it's unlikely that you will recoup the cost of the paper with coupon savings--especially if you use mostly store brands, as recommended in #1. Unless you can manage to "stack" your coupon with a good sale, name-brand products usually cost more even with a coupon. This is why I generally find coupons to be the least effective of all cost-saving strategies, and I will never pay for access to coupons.
Bonnie |2010-07-08 13:54:08
It costs us $1 a week to get the Sunday paper. I cut coupons on things that I would be interested in if they were in my price range - regularly, the store will have this item on clearance, or on sale, and then they make my coupon worth $1, and I end up saving $20-$30 regularly. If by chance you still don't want to buy a paper, many coupons can be found online at sites like coupons.com, redplum.com, smartsource.com, and don't forget the coupons on the Target website which you can pair with manufacturer's coupons for an even better deal. :)
frugal nomad  - I'll go for the Sunday Paper |2010-07-08 15:54:44
The Sunday Paper is always a good read. It has value in and of itself. Add to that all the coupons and you can't go wrong. How else are you going to find out about big sales. Aside from your junk mail - which can also be a good place to look for deals.

So, we'll cast our vote for the Sunday Paper. We actually wrote an article listing 10 reasons you can't live without the Sunday paper. Maybe its worth a second look.

http://www.livecheap.com/shopping/everything-else/327-10-cheap-reasons -you-cant-live-without-the-sunday-paper
frugal nomad  - Fake maple syrup is fine |2010-07-08 15:58:36
As long as you're paying not paying the price of real maple syrup. You do tend to get what you pay for; but that doesn't mean paying for something you think is real only to find out it's a doctored imitation.
beachboui  - Are You Nutz?! |2012-01-23 14:34:45
"Just as happy with fake syrup..." ????
Do you care nothing about your family's health?

That fake syrup is nearly 100% high fructose corn syrup. HFCS is one of the leading causes of the the obesity epidemic we face in America. It is NOT the same as real maple syrup and is NOT digested the same in your digestive process. Don't take my word for it. Look it up.

HFCS has been perpetrated on the consuming public by food a processing industry that has NO conscience and does't care about the harm their products do, as long as it makes them wealthy.

Saving a couple of bucks by feeding your family garbage will take a toll on your family's health, and cost your more money in the long run.

Saving $2 on cheap syrup now is foolish, short term gratification.

Spending a little more for healthier options and being aware of the evil ingredients in many processed foods, with a focus on long-term gratification will pay much, much large dividends. They just won't be obvious at the check out.
 
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