1. Less trips to the grocery store
It's been my experience that the more frequently I go to the grocery store, the more money I spend. So a couple of years ago, my weekly grocery trips became bi-weekly grocery trips. When I go, I make sure I have my list in hand and I have accounted for food items, cleaning supplies, toiletries, and baby products that we will need for the next 2 weeks. The concept is simple - if you're not at the store, you don't spend money!
Coupons have become my best friend! There's a lot of satisfaction to see your grocery total going down as the cashier rings up your coupons. Coupons can be found in the Sunday paper, but if you don't get a Sunday paper, there are lots of coupon websites. Some of my favorites are coupons.com, smart source.com, and afullcup.com. I like to have my coupons handy as I'm making my list so I can coincide the list with the coupons I have and I don't have to fumble for them in the checkout line.
Matching the store sales with coupons equals an elementary math problem. More savings! Especially take advantage of the meat sales. I always buy meat in bulk, portion it out, and freeze it for later.
4. Price matching
I was just introduced to price matching by a lovely stranger at Wal-Mart. I was putting milk into my cart and a lady told me to "Comp my milk." I had no idea what she meant, but then she told me that Kroger had milk on sale for $1.99 that week and to mention it to my cashier. Viola! I got the $3.98 gallon of milk for $1.99! A lot of stores claim to honor price matching, but Wal-Mart is one that doesn't require a sale paper as proof. A lot of frugalistas suggest shopping at several grocery stores to take advantage of all sales, but price matching is so much easier!
5. Meal Planning
Write down what you plan to cook. You don't have to write specific dates, but writing down your options saves time, money, and unexpected trips to the grocery store. As you're doing your meal planning, write down all the ingredients needed. Use the grocery sales and coupons to aid in meal planning. At least once a week, I try to make enough dinner so that we can have leftovers the next night. Make sure to account for evenings that you'll be out late, eat out, etc. The ocd list maker in me loves meal planning!
If you have any additional tips or some yummy frugal recipes, don't forget to leave me a comment!