Filed under: Personal Finance - Saving Money.
People don’t think much about grocery shopping as a major source in personal savings. However, given that food consumption and vehicle fuel are the two of the largest expenditures in a household every month aside from a mortgage, any savings on those costs can mean big dollars over time.
There are two ways to score ongoing, significant savings on groceries: joining a local store’s member club and the extensive use of coupons. Fortunately, the two can be exercised simultaneously.
Most grocery chains today use some kind of membership for their customers to gain additional savings beyond just counter price mark-downs. This offering of greater reductions comes at a price, however. Customers have to provide their personal identification information and allow their shopping to be tracked, usually with some kind of an electronic swipe card with a unique member number. Doing so allows the grocery store to then collect the data and make decisions on what products will sell better and which ones should be removed. In return, customers can realize 10 to 30 percent additional savings on select items.
As a second method, traditional coupons from manufacturers also provide grocery savings. However, shoppers typically have to meet the requirements of the coupon. This may involve buying a particular brand or number of detailed items. The nice feature is that such coupons can many times be added on top of each other or onto grocery store membership savings. As a result, an item costing $3 may end up being sold for a final charge of 75 cents.
With the Internet, obtaining coupons now is far easier than before. Historically, people had to wait for the Sunday newspaper to get coupons. Now, a consumer just has to sign up at one of many coupon sites that already have affiliations with manufacturers. Doing so gains access to many of the same coupons in the newspaper, and access is sent weekly right to a personal email account.
To maximize such savings, consumers that buy in bulk realize serious benefits. Grocery items that are canned or packaged for long-term storage work best as they can be stored and don’t go bad if not used right away. If planned right, it’s not uncommon for some customers to see their grocery bill reduced from 30 to 40 percent in a visit. Add up these savings to 12 months in a year, and it means hundreds of dollars that can now go to other needs.
Grocery savings don’t all happen in one day, but if a person makes grocery savings a steady goal serious money can be saved over time.