Tips and Tricks for Market Day

7:00 AM

You are feeling good about the money you have saved and then you go to the grocery store. Good feeling gone. I can’t say that you will ever leave the grocery store feeling great, but I can tell you that you will save if you follow some of the same rules we do.

Rule # 1. If you can save even a few pennies, do it. Don’t fall into the trap of, “oh, this is only ten cents extra.” If you save ten cents on a can of beans, fifty cents on milk and forty cents on dog food you have just saved a dollar. True savings often start out small.

Rule # 2. Never buy something with a coupon that you don’t normally buy. If you never eat Jo’s Juicy bits, don’t get them just because you have a coupon for them. If you always buy Jane’s Generic detergent, use that coupon.

Rule # 3. When there is a sale, stock up. Recently at our local H. E. B (a primarily Texas grocery chain) they had a deal where you bought one twelve pack of a name brand toilet paper and got a generic brand twelve pack free. We bought enough toilet paper to last us over a month. Stocking up on things that you use when you hit a really good sale can save you hundreds in the long run.

Rule # 4. Shop at the local salvage stores and buy most canned goods there. Ask around. There are sometimes stores that sell food that is about to go out of date, dented cans, or products that have changed their labels. We often find amazing deals on canned goods at the one near us.

Rule # 5. Buy the cheapest brand. Okay, this is sometimes my least favorite rule, but it is the one that saves us the most money. We rarely get name brands; our food is almost exclusively generic. Getting real Oreos is a big treat. Most of the time, if we buy cookies instead of making them, we get the cheap and not as good generic brand.

Rule # 6. Get the less desirable cut of meat. Often, we have chicken thighs instead of breasts and we get the rump roasts instead of a nicer cut. This saves a lot of money, and if you put it into well-seasoned dishes, you can hardly tell the difference.

Rule # 7. Use what you have. Don’t let the food in your fridge go bad. Take stock once a week and use things that might not stay good much longer.

Rule # 8. Make as much as you can from scratch. Buying pre-done pie crusts, cookies and frozen pizzas adds up fast. Lean to make your own. You can do it!

Rule # 9. Go to your local farmers market toward the end, often they will reduce the price of things and/or give you a good deal on produce so they don’t have to take it home.

Rule # 10. Eat leftovers when you have them. I know, sometimes leftovers can be less than appealing, but using them will save you money.

Have some tips and tricks of your own for saving at the grocery store?

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  1. Rule #11 - Buy in bulk whenever it is cheaper to do so. We purchase chicken, pork & beef in bulk at SAMS, and repackage into smaller, usable portions, date them and store them in the freezer. If you use items like Parmesan cheese, it's cheapest in a monster container...then we repackage it into smaller containers for easy storage. I LOVE saving money!