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We already work hard to help you save money on your personal insurance (while getting the very best coverage).  But groceries are also one of the biggest items in most family budgets.  They’re a necessity but can be hard to plan for.  And without careful management, your grocery budget can quickly get out of control. 

Here are a few simple ways to plan ahead and save money! 

Menu Plan - Menu planning is the easiest and most effective way to cut your grocery budget.  When you plan your meals in advance, then you know exactly what items you need and can easily stick to a list and a budget. 

If you plan on shopping weekly, go ahead and make a list of your family’s favorite dinner meals.  Then plan lunches, breakfasts, and snacks.  Shop through your refrigerator and pantry first to see what you already have on hand.  Then make a list and stick to it! 

Make A Standard List - We all have certain items that we purchase every single time we go to the store.  Milk, bread, and orange juice might be a staple in your home.  Make a basic list that you start from every week.  That way you know what needs to be replaced without wasting a lot of time starting from scratch.

Check For Sales - Most grocery stores put out their sales flyer each Wednesday.  The majority are also listed on the store’s website!  Pull this up while making your menus and plan around what is on sale.  Great price on chicken?  Put that on your meal plan!  You’ll save money and create variety in your meals.

Purchase In-Season Produce - Produce can be expensive but is important in creating healthy meals.  Lower your cost by only purchasing produce that is in season.  Search online for lists of seasonal produce to help you plan. 

Use Coupons - Many grocery stores will offer great coupons in their weekly circular or via their frequent shopper programs.  Make sure you sign up for those free cards that are scanned at checkout since they can save you tons of money! 

Check out the coupons in the Sunday paper as well.  Don’t just buy items because you have a coupon though!  Make sure it is something you will actually use first or you won’t save much in the long run.

Photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/cjsorg/391690572/">CJ Sorg</a> / <a href="http://foter.com/re/14af45">Foter.com</a> / <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">CC BY-SA</a>

Posted 6:00 AM  View Comments

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