Savvy Shopper: Fall money-saving tips on groceries

I love the fall season for so many reasons. Colorful leaves, chilly weather that is perfect for cozy sweaters, and of course, caramel apple and pumpkin spice everything. But fall is also a bold reminder that in a blink of an eye, you will be jumping full swing into the holiday season. Here are some fall money-saving tips on groceries.

Bulk shop

If you use certain products often — for example, dried beans for soups and stews, quinoa or other items that store well — buy in bulk. Bulk shopping will help you reduce the cost of these items throughout the fall months, and you will always have supplies on hand for your favorite home-cooked meals. If you have a friend or family member who wants to go in and split the bulk items with you, go for it. One year we bought 50 pounds of oatmeal that we split with a handful of people. It lasted a long time, but it was a great deal. It ended up being 50 percent cheaper than buying it at the store in small containers.

Look up and down

When shopping, make sure to look above and below eye level in the grocery aisles. Most stores will put items that have a higher price tag right in the center, where your eyes would automatically go. Brands pay a premium to be right at customers’ eye level! Remember this tip for year-round savings. You will be surprised at how much you can save when you take some time to look over the prices.

Meatless dishes

Try having a meatless Monday each week, where you can skip the expensive proteins in your diet. Fix up hearty soups and stews that don’t have meat in them, such as a bean chili or vegetable soup. Try adding in other forms of protein like dairy, beans, eggs, etc., so you feel full.

Coupons

Because the holidays are approaching, you will see higher-value coupons in your Sunday newspaper. I like to remind everyone that if you see a good sale on baking supplies, stock up! Get these items when the price is low and save them back through the year. Things like flour, sugar, butter, baking essentials and canned vegetables will all drop in price. Look for really good deals right after Halloween, and one to two weeks before Thanksgiving, then check for markdowns right after Thanksgiving to get a jump on Christmas grocery shopping.

Rain check

That buy one, get one free chicken breast sale is too good to pass up. Make sure you ask for rain checks if the store is out of stock. Remembering to do this can really save you a lot of money, no matter what time of year it is.

Meal plan

Hop on Pinterest and search out recipes that are affordable to make, but also wholesome. Then create a meal plan and stick to it. When I don’t meal plan and just guess at the store, I spend at least $50 to $75 more! Taking a few minutes out of the day to plan your meals for the week will dramatically cut down your spending. Remember to factor in at least one night a week for leftovers.

What is the most significant money-saving tip you have for grocery store shopping during the fall? Share with us on our Savvy Shopper Facebook page.

Melissa King is a professional savings blogger from Savannah. Contact her at [email protected]