canstockphoto24746428It is quite expensive to feed a family nowadays! The price of food is a large portion of most budgets, and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down anytime soon. There are several alarming statistics concerning the food prices in the U.S. The cost of feeding a family of four in July 2014 are ranging from $568-$1,293.20 per month according to Department of Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. Data from the Consumer Price index shows that food prices have increased an average of 2.8% per year since 1990 and will most likely continue on an upward spiral.

Fortunately, there are a few strategies that can help you save big at the supermarket. Use these techniques to substantially lower your grocery bill:

 

1. Avoid paying for pre-cut and cooked food. To get the biggest savings at the checkout, stop shopping for convenience. You should avoid pre-cooked, pre-washed and pre-chopped food at all costs. Look for whole food that you can prepare instead of buying highly processed food. This is a lot cheaper and also gives you more control over how much salt, sugar and fat are added to your meals.

Another way to further your savings is by eating home-cooked meals rather than dining out. If you don’t know how to cook very well, consider asking your friends and family members to share some of their recipes. You can also do a Google search and watch Youtube videos for step-by-step instructions on how to prepare specific dishes.

 

 

2. Plan your menu around weekly sales. Prepare dishes with items that’s on sale or marked down for the week. Many grocery stores offer weekly specials on items, especially in the meat and produce department while others offer significant savings on products that are nearing the expiration date.

Purchasing items when it’s offered at rock bottom prices will dramatically increase your savings. Most meat and produce can be stored in your freezer until you’re ready to cook them. If you come across good deals, stock up on these items and plan your meals accordingly. On the other hand, if you let it go to waste you’ll be wasting money!

 

 

3. Compare prices at different stores. Avoid shopping exclusively at one retailer for groceries and other household products. There is a good chance that you’ll end up paying more when shopping at one particular supermarket. Search for specials and reward programs at all of the grocery stores in your area. You should include smaller community grocers as well as farmer’s markets on your list of places to do your shopping.

 

4. Take advantage of coupons and rewards clubs. Many stores offer deep discounts to members of their shopping clubs. It’s usually free to sign up and always remember to take your membership card whenever you go shopping.

You can save even more by using coupons that you find online. There are several websites that offer coupons for food, baby items and a long list of household products that allows consumers to download on their computer and smartphones. Using your smartphone is better since it will save time printing and clipping coupons.

Keep in mind that using coupons on an items that’s on sale will give you extra savings. Always buy food that you’re going to use. If you purchase items that you don’t use, you’re throwing food and money down the drain.

Rising food prices are making it difficult for many families to enjoy nutritious meals. Use these tricks to make it easy for you to cut your grocery bill in half without skimping on your favorites. Watch you savings grow while you’re getting more bang for your buck at the cash register!

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