Have you caught one those shows stuffed somewhere in the Discover-History-National Geographic section of your cable channel collection that shows how some people manage to walk out of the grocery store with a thousand dollars worth of items that they only paid like 37 cents for? Insane couponing is, I think, the term for it. No, wait, sorry, it’s technically called extreme couponing, but I think my term is more fitting.
Extreme couponing devotees are people that spend an insane amount of their lives collecting, compiling, assorting, cataloging and counting coupons. The money that can be saved is enormous, but is the payoff in things you don’t really want or need in such copious amounts really worth the amount of time necessary to make insane couponing pay off? Especially when you can make a dent in your grocery bill and still wind up taking home only the things you really want or need with much less expenditure of time and effort.
Here’s a nifty way to save money on grocery shopping that has nothing to do with the grocery itself. Keep a cooler on hand in the trunk. That way you can still shop for perishables and save money on gas by running other errands without first having to make an unnecessary trip home.
Go back to good old-fashioned cash rather using credit cards or debit cards. When you only have a limited amount of cash to spend on groceries, you insert a cap on that spending that you can’t go over. To ensure results, when you go to the grocery store you not only arrive with cash on hand, but you leave any alternative spending media at home. No debit cards, no credit cards, no checks, no ATM card. Just cold hard cash to save money at the grocer store.
Literally Search High and Low for Better Value
Train yourself to head down every aisle in the grocery store with an eye trained to literally look high and low for cheaper prices and better values. Grocery stores know enough about the laziness of shoppers to place the merchandise they can make the most money off of at eye level. If you get into the habit of flicking your eyes upward and downward, you will find less expensive options that let you leave the supermarket with the exact same items on your list for less.
You want to keep yourself from buying things at the grocery store on impulse that you will regret later? Instead of moving that grocery cart all the way up and down each aisle, park it near the entrance to the aisle. Then move through the supermarket aisle on foot so that you have to carry every item you want back to the cart. The more effort and exertion required to shop for groceries, the fewer groceries you are likely to bring home.
Stock Up on Stock Items
Ever take the time to add up how much money you spend by running down to the convenience store to pick up an item that you find you’ve run out of just when you need it most? Paper towels, toilet tissue, detergent, bleach, oil. All those items that cost a lot less at the grocery store than they do at the much closer convenience store. Over time those little emergency runs to the convenience store add up. These are the things that warehouse clubs were really made for. Seriously, who needs to buy a dozen cans of lima beans at a time? On the other hand, picking up two dozen rolls of paper towels or a couple of gallons of vegetable oil or a few bottles of bleach at once will actually save you money twice. Your first saving is courtesy of the lower price per item you can get at warehouse clubs. The second saving of money comes from cutting back on the number of emergency runs to the convenience store to pay as much as twice for that bottle of bleach or roll of toilet paper.