7) Watch the cash register
I can’t tell you how many times I notice an overcharge just by watching the activity at the cash register. When you get to the checkout counter the temptation is to become distracted with preparing your items for scanning. Don’t do it. Instead, focus on how much you’re being charged for items. As you’re walking out, recheck your receipt to make sure you’ve not been double-charged, especially when you’ve purchased a lot. By doing this small due diligence you could end up recouping a substantial amount of your hard-earned cash that shouldn’t have been charged in the first place.
6) Plant a herb garden
If you enjoy adding herbs to almost every meal this might be one for you. I like to use fresh rosemary in my omelette, fresh thyme or basil in my stews, sage, bay leaf for my turkey, mint for tea etc. I discovered I was easily spending hundreds of dollars a year just on herbs alone. To save money I bought herb plants, rallied up the kids and planted it together in the backyard. It was great fun for the kids who love to water them and watch them grow. If you don’t have outside space, start a kitchen herb garden. Buy already potted herbs and place them in a sunny but not too hot spot near a window where they’ll get at least 4 hours of sun daily. You’ll save hundreds a year.
5) Eat less meat
Depending on your family size, meat can easily add up to 50-60% of a grocery bill. Have a weekly “Meatless Monday” or “Veggie Friday”; one day a week where you don’t eat meat. Eliminating meat just once or twice a week can decrease your grocery bill by 30-60% or more. In addition to saving money, eating less meat can help lower your risk for cardiovascular disease by lowering your intake of artery clogging cholesterol and animal fats.
4) Shop produce locally & in season
If possible buy local produce as they are cheaper and give more options. Additionally, fruits and vegetables tend to be fresher and therefore healthier when bought in season.
3) Be willing to substitute
Are there cheaper, possibly healthier options you can substitute your more expensive foods for? Check out “Top 7 ways to replace carbs in your diet” or “10 Vegetables That Can Substitute for Meat” for more tips. Taking advantage of cheaper options could save you thousands each year.
2) Shop generic
In general, the core ingredients in generic, or store-brand products, are mostly the same as in brand-named products. In many consumer tests, consumers can’t even tell the difference. Identify which items you and your family prefer brand-name items for e.g. my kids prefer certain brand-name cereals but use generic paper towels, sugar and flour. Splurge on items which your family prefers brand-name options. For the rest, save money by sticking with the generic store brand.