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Learn How Baby Steps Can Help You Save Big Money On Groceries

by Alonzo on January 23, 2012

You can slash the cable bill, cancel the gym membership, and turn down the thermostat all you want, but these steps will pale in comparison to the savings you’ll realize simply by cutting your grocery bill.

Food is typically most people’s third largest expense, trailing only housing and transportation. Yet, your grocery bill is also the easiest expense to trim, creating the largest amount of savings with the least amount of effort.

Unfortunately, we sometimes suffer from paralysis by analysis. Not knowing where to start, we SIMPLY don’t get started. But you don’t need a grand plan. Just take baby steps.

Your task is to implement just one simple change into your shopping routine. Implement this change for several weeks until you’ve made it part of your normal shopping behavior.

Once you’ve taken this first baby step, add another simple change to your routine until, like the first change, it becomes second nature. When you reach this point, you guessed it – add a third simple change to your normal shopping routine.

The amazing thing about this is that once you see the savings start to pile up, you’re going to get even more excited about taking the next simple baby step. It turns into a pleasant money saving cycle. The more you save, the more you’ll want to introduce small changes that allow you to save even more!

Start with the easiest baby steps first, – those that create the biggest savings with the least amount of work. Then graduate to baby steps that may take a little more effort like clipping, organizing, and using coupons.

Here’s a sample BABY STEP plan.

Month 1: (BABY STEP 1) : Stop by an Aldi supermarket. Aldi is a clean, no frills grocery chain with high quality food at low prices. Shoppers can saveĀ 30-40% at Aldi compared to conventional grocery stores. Find an Aldi discount grocery store near you by visiting the store locator at www.Aldifoods.com.

Since the stores are typically smaller than conventional supermarkets you won’t find everything you need. I, for instance, generally purchase my staple items (sugar, flour, milk, butter, etc.) at Aldi before proceeding to a conventional supermarket.

During your weekly grocery shopping trip, make Aldi your first stop. Then proceed to your regular grocery store of choice. This one baby step alone could easily save you $100 to $125 or more a month! That’s an extra $1200 to $1500 in your pocket each year.

Month 2: (BABY STEP 2): Once you’ve made a habit out of stopping by Aldi, move onto the next baby step. Take a look at the products you buy on a regular basis. For one of these products try the store brand version. If your family doesn’t like it, return it for a full refund. Most stores offer a no questions asked refund on all of their store brand products.

Try a different store brand product each week. If find just ten products for which you can purchase the store brand alternative, you’ll easily save $5 to $10 a week. Doesn’t sound like much until you realize that, over a month, you’ll save $20 to $40, and over a year you’ll pocket $240 to $480.

Month 3: (BABY STEP 3): Meat is one of the most expensive parts of your food budget. Just once a week cook a meal without it. Check out websites like MeatlessMonday.com for great meatless recipes. This one simple step could save you $7 to $10 a week. Again, that represents a yearly savings of nearly $364 to $520.

Month 4: (BABY STEP 4): The simple habit of stockpiling will lead to some incredible savings. This one simple step takes advantage of the tremendous savings inherent in “2 for 1” and “buy one, get one free” sales. For products you purchase frequently, wait and stock up when these items go on sale at a deep discount.

For many products this type of sale occurs every four to eight weeks. The key is purchase enough of the item to last until the next significant sale. Stockpiling basically cuts your costs in half. Because of limited freezer or pantry space you may only be able to do this for a few items, but the savings will still be tremendous. You can easily save $15 to $20 a week by using this technique, a yearly savings of $720 to $1040.

Month 5: (BABY STEP 5): Begin planning your meals around the supermarket sales circular. As we mentioned above, meat is one of the most expensive parts of your food budget. In addition to skipping meat one night a week, plan the rest of your meals around the meat item and side dishes that are on sale for the week. This habit alone will save you $10 a week, or $520 a year.

Now these baby steps are just a small sample of the number of ways you can slash your food bill. You don’t have to implement or follow these specific examples. The point is, by taking one simple action, and over the course of a month or so making it a normal part of your routine, you can easily start racking up impressive savings.

Focus on one small change at a time until it becomes second nature. Then focus on another small area of improvement until that change becomes ingrained.

Each baby step may only save you a few hundred dollars a year, but added together they’ll save you thousands. Now that’s something to smile about.

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