Just Graduated and Starting Out

Just graduated and starting out bloggers examine life after school. Read along as they manage their debt and expenses, while trying to make a living.

Cheap Chow

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I love food and I love saving money. I really, really love saving money. Who doesn't? In order not to deny myself, I go out of my way in some instances to save some green.

I walk a little farther to a certain grocery store, forgo my favorite dessert from time to time, and even shop the day-old aisle.

I've been grocery shopping on my own for five years now and have accrued some tips on how to save at the grocery store. Here are my top six tactics:

 

 

  • First things first - Make a list. Much like shopping for clothes, you need to take stock of what you already have on hand. After you know what's on the menu for the week, rummage through your pantry and fridge and write everything you need down. Once you have everything you NEED down on paper, write the max you can spend on that grocery list in the top right corner. This will be a nice little reminder when you're feeling you may deviate from the list. One last thing, before you leave the house grab a snack to fill up-- shopping on an empty stomach is not a best practice.
  • Now for the hard part - Stick to the list. Grocery store marketers like to throw in impulse items where they know you'll be looking. Get out your list and put those defenses up. If you really want to be strict get some cash out and leave the plastic at home. Also, it's a good idea to bring a calculator and keep track of everything you're throwing in the cart. This way there are no surprises at the checkout counter!
  • On your way into the store grab the coupon shopper at the front door. If you want to do some coupon research beforehand, just type "coupons" into your browser's search bar and you're bound to find printable ones in your area. Try http://www.couponmom.com/.
  • After you grab your coupons, head to the fruits and veggies section. Once there, bundle them in small quantities. This way they don't go bad before you have the chance to use them. This applies especially to singles or those living alone. Buy in quantities that suit your situation.
  • Avoid the impulse aisles! These consist of the candy, cookies, chips, and soda sections. Even parts of the frozen foods section can be dangerous. Just remember to stick to the list and you'll be fine.
  • Join the store rewards program - Most grocery stores offer free reward cards that can save you a lot of money on groceries that you would normally already buy. Ask at the customer service desk of your local grocery store about their reward card program. Most are free to join and you can rack up a pretty tremendous amount of points over time.

Once I get home I put everything away and start to make dinner. I pack leftovers in a nice, neat pouch to bring for lunch the next day. Most grocery shopping days I'm happy about my purchases and what's left over in my wallet.

What are your best money-saving tips for grocery shopping? What are your favorite coupon sites?

Related Links:

Love your body and wallet

Labor Day Resolutions

I Love to Eat

Michelle Reed

Michelle is an ambitious college graduate from the Midwest relocating to New York City to pursue her career in Social Media Marketing. She is a contributing writer for the Just Graduated & Starting Out blog. Despite it being one of the most expensive cities in the world, Michelle feels that she will be able to succeed in the Big Apple with the financial tips and tricks she has learned throughout her college years. Follow her journey of budgeting, sacrificing, and ultimately surviving on an entry level salary in the city. Compensated CareOne Blogger.

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  • My rule of thumb is to remember that companies are not focused on saving you money; instead, they want you to spend your money so they can make the big bucks.

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