My husband and I are trying to eat healthy, but we’re noticing that our grocery bills went up. To counteract that we’ve decided to get serious about finding ways to lower our grocery bills without sacrificing the quality of food we eat.

Have a (Grocery) Plan

Before you go ahead and shop, go through your kitchen and organize everything. Sometimes we’ve bought duplicates of things because we hadn’t cleaned up our pantry. I’m also ashamed to admit that some food has expired by the time we found them. It’s truly a waste, so I’ve improved in that area.

Do not shop when you’re starving, you’ll probably end up buying more than your planned. Instead have something light before you leave and enjoy the samples at the store. I tend to go for more snacks than necessary when I’m hungry. Having a little something to eat before I leave has helped me keep to the grocery list and keep our waist line down.

Speaking of preparing, it would be great to have a grocery list ready. If you’re like us, you won’t remember everything on the list and you may be tempted to buy some unnecessary extras while you’re at the store.

MVP/VIC – Using Member Deals

If you’re a grocery member you can sometimes get great deals on items when they go on sale. Look for nonperishable good that you can buy (and save) in bulk.

How do you know that you’re getting a good sale? Check out your price book to see if it’s lower than it usually is.  How do you create a price book quickly and easily? Here are some steps to get you started:

  1. Write down a list of the staples that you get most of the time.
  2. Visit your regular grocery stores and get the unit price for them.
  3. Create a spreadsheet (Google Docs can be great) and figure out who has the deal by the unit prices.
  4. Maximize savings by comparing the prices to VIP/MVP prices to make sure you’re getting a good sale.

After following this for a month or so, you’ll discover trends on certain items and where you’ll most likely find the best deal.

That’s not all your can do to save some cash, you can also:

  • Double Your Coupons – Some stores like Harris Teeter will triple your coupons up to a certain limit. That can make a huge difference if you’re using several. Check your grocery store for details.
  • Widen Your Stores – International or ethnic stores can give you some incredible deals on some staples.

Thoughts on Saving on Groceries

What have you done to cut down on your grocery bill without depending on ramen noodles? Where have you found the best deals?