If you learn how, saving money grocery shopping can save you big this grilling season.
If you discover how to save money when grocery shopping, you make it easier for everyone to enjoy food from the grill. And because everyone likes food from the grill, you can provide amazing culinary treats with summer BBQs without breaking the bank or going into debt. Here is a list of some great tips to do just that.
Tip #1: Take Advantage of Sales
Why buy something at full price when you can buy it on sale? You do this when you need really need something now and can’t wait for discounts. The trick is to either stock up when there’s a sale or learn to anticipate sales.
Anticipating sales isn’t as hard as you think. Many of them are seasonal. For example, corned beef is almost always on sale at grocery stores in February or March. If you want ham, the best time to buy them is in April, especially after Easter.
You can find other sales in your grocery store’s weekly circular. Sometimes you can even figure out a pattern of when specific items go on sale. Most grocery stores will have a cycle when they have certain meats or produce on deep markdown.
Tip #2: Buy Used
If you need additional grilling or BBQ equipment, consider buying them used. Many grills are very expensive new, but you can save a bunch of money by looking for one secondhand. You can find them on places like Craigslist, Letgo, your local paper and eBay. For smaller items, like grilling utensils and tools, look at thrift stores and yard sales. You can usually find something for literal pennies on the dollar.
Tip #3: Join the Frequent Shopper Program
Almost every grocery store will have a special program for frequent shoppers. Signing up is free. All you do is fill out a form with your name, address, phone number and email address. Then you get unique cards to carry in your wallet, purse or keychain.
Every time you shop, you will give your card number (often your phone number) or let the cashier scan your card. Then you get instant discounts on many grocery items. Most of the time, you’ll get a discount that you didn’t even know about. One fun little game is to have the cashier ring up all your groceries and scan your frequent shopper program card at the end. Then you can watch the discounts in action and see your bill drop right before your eyes.
Tip #4: Take Advantage of Other Grocery Programs
In addition to providing discounts on groceries, being a part of the frequent shopper program at your local grocery store can provide other benefits. For example, during the holiday season, your grocery store may give out special tokens or provide you with points for your purchases. Then when you accumulate enough tokens or points, you can redeem them for free kitchen supplies, grocery items or even a turkey.
Another great program is free gas or gas for a discount. This is how it works at some grocery stores: You get a point for every dollar you spend. Once you obtain 100 points, you can get 10 cents off a gallon. Depending on the grocery store, there may be other limits or restrictions. For example, the discount may only apply to a single fill up and up to 30 gallons of gas. Also, the maximum discount on a gallon of gas may be one or two dollars. This makes getting free gas through this program impossible. However, every little bit helps, especially with rising gas prices.
Tip #5: Use a Cash Back Credit Card
Many credit cards have cash back benefits where users will get back 1% or more on purchases made on the credit card. Some even go as far as to provide a 3% or 5% cash back benefit on anything the user buys in a grocery store. As long as the user doesn’t carry a balance and pays off the card in full every billing cycle, this is a fantastic way to earn free money and save as much as 5% on the grocery bill without doing anything differently.
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