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Dollars & Sense
3/27/2013 8:40:02 AM

10 ways to cut your grocery bill

By David Uffington
King Features Syndicate

With the 2 percent payroll deduction going away, paychecks are that much smaller, and it's more important than ever to find ways to reduce grocery bills. Retailers know this, and they're becoming even more ruthless about getting you to part with your shopping dollars.

Here are 10 tips to help cut your grocery bill:

1. Check the sales flyers that come in the mail or the newspaper, and make a list of your meals for the coming week. Check ingredients at home to make sure you don't buy duplicates.

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2. Stores are laid out to get you to spend the most money. Bakeries will blow the scent of baked goods to entice you into that area. The deli section will put out samples of meats and cheeses, hoping you'll try a sample and buy. Staples like milk and eggs will be in the back corner of the store, forcing you to go a long distance past other items. Look down each aisle. If there's nothing down that aisle you need, don't go there.

3. Set a limit on how much extra you're willing to spend if you come across real bargains while in the store.

4. Shop at night, if possible, by yourself. Leave the kids at home or tell them there will be no extras.

5. Eat before you go. You'll be less tempted to buy items not on your list.

6. Buy in bulk only if it makes sense. If you can save money on a five-pound package of hamburger and freeze it in one-pound packages, do that. But if a mega-size box of cereal will only go bad in your cupboard, it's no bargain.

7. Check the unit price on each item, especially now that the package sizes of so many items are changing. The price might be the same, but with less in the package, it actually costs more per serving.

8. Buy "plain" foods such as rice or pasta and add your own seasonings. Buy plain cereal and add your own sugar - or not.

9. Buy cheaper cuts of meat and use your slow cooker to make a meal. Add another meatless dinner to your meal rotation.

10. Get creative in the kitchen and look online for new recipes. Experiment with adding ingredients such as cooked rice or pasta and vegetables to a can of soup for a hearty meal.

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