Rising food prices are sometimes unavoidable, but smart shoppers can always find a way to cut their grocery bills while eating healthily. One of the best ways this can be done is by rediscovering Sunday paper coupon inserts. Teaming up with friends to share coupons and coupon resources (both online and offline) is also an excellent idea. Adjusting eating habits to match available coupons, while often somewhat difficult, can help even a frugal person stretch a grocery budget even more. Finally, when coupons alone just won’t cut it, buying bulk, unprocessed foods and signing up with a food coop can cut the weekly grocery bill to manageable proportions.
Long overlooked by hip couponers enamored with online coupons and mobile couponing, the good old Sunday paper is a great source of high discount coupons. Coupons in Sunday paper coupon inserts tend to emphasize traditional brands and usually cover such healthy staples as whole wheat flour, in season fruits, and heart healthy canned goods like beans and corn. Sunday paper coupons are not sexy, but a shopper can easily use them to trim the weekly grocery bill by a good 5% or more, while continuing to eat healthily.
When solo coupon hunting just isn’t enough, it’s time to enlist the help of your friends. Couponing can be a very social activity, and a wonderful way to keep in touch with others while saving money. The best way to go about group couponing is to have each individual in the group monitor different coupon websites and resources. For example, one person in the group can be charged with monitoring the Groupon webiste, and another can be asked to keep tabs on the website. If you have enough people in the group, it is very easy to collectively keep track of all the latest coupon deals.
Of course, when monthly budgets get really tight, it’s time to become more strategic about the food purchasing decisions you make each week. Start buying brands you can get coupons for in place of the brands you always purchase but can’t get discounts on. No one likes to go without their favorite brands, but there is often very little or no difference between popular brand-name foodstuffs and no-name foodstuffs. If you really want to save significant amounts of money on your food shopping, some small sacrifices will be necessary. Fortunately, sacrificing popular brand-name products does not mean you need to compromise with healthy eating. Cheap, less popular food products are almost always as healthy as the more expensive brands they compete with.
Sometimes couponing alone, even group couponing, won’t be sufficient on its own. Buying unprocessed foods in bulk is an excellent way to stretch your dollars and buy healthier food at the same time. Highly processed foods not only tend to be very expensive, they tend to be very unhealthy. Elaborately packaged processed foods are often loaded with sugar and fat, not at all what you need when trying to maintain a slim waistline and healthy cholesterol numbers. Be sure and try out some more unprocessed foods. They require more preparation time in the kitchen, but in the end both your expenses and waistline will be slimmer.
As a last resort to fight expensive food bills, you can always try food coops. Food coops are becoming more and more popular across America, and it is very simple to get involved in one. To get started, all you need to do is visit www.coopdirectory.org, and search for coops in your area. If you live in a larger city, there is almost certain to be a coop program in your area. If you live in a smaller area, you could consider starting a food coop of your own.
Coops are a great way to save on food bills primarily because they enable people to pool their resources and save money through economies of scale. Buying 500 eggs is cheaper per egg than buying 10 eggs. If you can find a food coop whose members share your same dietary tastes, you won’t have any problems saving about 10 to 15% more each month on food.