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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Grocery Shopping During A Recession



The recession has hit just about everyone around the globe. These are just plain scary times as people seem to be losing jobs, homes and in some cases, their sanity. It is tough for people to rearrange their budgets to combat rising food and fuel prices since there is only so much money to go around in the shrinking household budget. I have found a few tricks to save a penny here and there when shopping for the family.
1. Coupons – Never be ashamed or too proud to pull coupons out of the Sunday paper. These coupons are great when you have a lot of mouths to feed or plan on stocking up for a few weeks. If you do not get the Sunday paper, try searching the web for sites that offer coupons that can be retrieved online. Also peruse the specials that are mailed to the house from the local grocer. That may be an excellent way to meal plan for the upcoming week.
2. Bulk Purchase – There was a day and age when I would scoff at those people buying in bulk. As my family continues to grow in number (and in physical size), it almost seems more practical to get that enormous jar of peanut butter or giant box of pancake mix which costs less per ounce when compared to the regular size. It is amazing how much snacks and juice kids can consume in a few days.
3. Buy Generic – There are some products that I just refuse to buy generic versions. Then there are those that taste as good as the name brand. I usually go generic with household staples such as granulated sugar, white and wheat flours, eggs, and just about all baking ingredients. I find this same to be true with many canned products as well. Our store even has quality chocolate baking chips that measure up against the name brand. I do draw the line and continue to purchase name brand merchandise for such items as pop, soups, and other quick convenient items.
4. Split your purchases with a friend or relative. This sort of relates to buying in bulk as mentioned earlier. If you belong to a wholesale club or super store, consider buying bulk meats and going “halfsies” with a neighbor. You freeze the pork chops, brats, or hamburgers for later use and save a bundle. Just make sure you have the freezer space.
5. Go With a List – have a plan or strategy of what you intend to buy before you go. Too many times I made the mistake of shopping without a list, and ended up buying items I didn’t really need with respect to calories and my finances.

Grocery shopping during a recession doesn’t have to be dismal or disheartening to your wallet or mental state. Remember to plan accordingly after researching coupons and grocer mailers, and bring a list.

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