My first piece of advice to someone looking to save money on food shopping is to carefully go through the sale flyers before you go shopping. If you base your meal planning on what’s on sale that week, you’ll spend less money than you would if you just plan meals according to what you feel like eating. I personally find it easier to plan meals when I have a limited selection of ingredients because it gives me some guidance.
When I started working on cutting back our grocery budget a few years ago, the first step I took was to go through the produce section in the weekly advertisements of three different local grocery stores. I would write a list of what sale items in the produce department I wanted to buy at 2 of the stores, and that’s where I’d do my shopping that week. By buying most of my produce on sale, I started saving the money that I would have wasted if I had gone to just one store and bought produce regardless of the price. Seeing where I am now, it’s hard to believe that I used to pay $3.99 for a pound of grapes. A typical bag of grapes costs $12 at that price, but when grapes are on sale for 99 cents a pound, that same bag of grapes costs $3. By shopping the sales, a lot of money can be freed up for other things.