For families who are searching for frugal living ideas and ways to save on the family budget; one budgeted item that can almost always be cut is spending on supermarket items. Smart shoppers will be on the look-out for the best money-saving ideas at the supermarket as part of a more frugal lifestyle. For people who need to save money on groceries, following some easy money-saving ideas can drastically cut the supermarket bill each month.
Here is a very simple money-saving idea at the supermarket that few people take advantage of. Many supermarkets are offering shoppers a few cents off for each time they bring their own shopping bags instead of using the paper or plastic bags provided by the supermarket.
Buy produce that is “in season”
When buying produce, purchase items that are in season. These fruits and vegetables have the lowest prices and taste fresher. A local farmer’s market is a great place to shop for fresh fruits and vegetables. Be sure to use up any fresh produce you buy before it goes bad. If fresh fruits or vegetables are out-of-season, frozen varieties may be the best buy.
Buy frozen foods
Purchasing frozen foods is an easy way for home cooks to save on their supermarket bills. Almost every variety of fruit or vegetable can be purchased frozen. If frozen at peak, they can be fresher than the ones found in the produce aisle. If buying frozen fish, check for the varieties that read “once frozen.” In almost every case, shoppers will realize big savings on shrimp, dilapidate, flounder, sole, and prime cuts of salmon.
Avoid over-priced supermarket items
There are some items that are so over-priced at the supermarket, that shoppers should stay away from buying these items at the supermarket altogether.
- Pre-sliced produce: If shoppers purchase pre-sliced produce such as lettuce or cabbage, they are paying on average around 35 percent more than the cost of the whole vegetable. True, pre-sliced foods are convenient, but is it worth the extra cost? Chopping vegetables or fruits only takes a few minutes. This one is a no-brainer– stay away from pre-sliced produce items.
- Cubed or pre-sliced meat: The same thing goes for cubed or pre-sliced meats. The mark-up is even greater on these items; around 60 percent. It may take a while to cube or slice meat, but the convenience is not worth the extra cost.
- Baked goods: Bakery goods have a 100 percent mark-up. Avoid buying at the bakery. Shoppers will pay less by buying the ingredients and baking themselves. Just imagine how good the kitchen will smell with fresh baked bread, pies, or cakes!
- Brand-name cereals: When shoppers buy brand name cereals, they are paying for the brand name. The generic brands have the same ingredients and often taste just as good, if not better, then the higher priced brand-name cereals. Brand-name cereals have a mark-up average of over 40 percent.
- Brand-name spices: Brand-name spices have a very high mark-up rate, around 97 percent. When shopping for spices, the best deals can be found at natural food stores or discount stores. If buying at natural food stores, shoppers can save even more by bringing in their own spice containers.
- Detergents: Detergents have a high mark-up at supermarkets. Great deals can be had on detergents at online stores such as Target and Walmart. In addition to the online discount, there are also online coupons, and free shipping discounts. Most families are always running out of detergent; therefore, it pays to buy this item in bulk quantities.
- Batteries: Batteries are another supermarket item with very high mark-ups, in some cases as much as 60 percent. Buy batteries online through Target or Walmart or from a warehouse store. If you use a lot of batteries, you can buy them in bulk from a warehouse at greatly discounted prices.
- Beauty products: Shoppers will rarely find beauty products at prices that are worth purchasing at a supermarket. Unless it is on sale, skip buying makeup, shampoos, toothpaste, body lotions, or perfumes at the supermarket. A much better deal can be found at drug stores or dollar stores.
Some of these ideas are simple, and a few will take a little more concentrated effort to achieve savings at the supermarket. Developing frugal living habits takes time, and saving money at the supermarket is a habit that can have big rewards when it comes to cutting a family’s monthly budget.