For some home caregivers, a trip to the grocery store is not only a use of their valuable time, it’s also a drain on their finances. Shopping for good buys can be challenging, especially when one is pressed for time. However, here are five grocery tips that frugal home caregivers may want to keep in mind as they head for the local supermarket.
- Use social media. Many home caregivers are brand loyal; they have a particular brand of pasta or milk that they prefer above all others. In such cases, it pays to see if the producer of that product has a Facebook page. Many manufacturers offer coupons for “liking” their official Facebook pages. Also, see if a local source has a social media page that lists current or upcoming shopping bargains.
- Favor low cost over convenience. It’s nice to buy a bag of pre-shredded cheese or pre-sliced meat, but usually these items are much more expensive than a regular package of cheese or meat. The same goes for bakery items: the cost of a cake from a store or bakery is often two or three times the cost of making one out of a box of mix or from scratch.
- Check out overage. Overage refers to having a coupon the value of which exceeds the cost of the item in a particular store. For example, a $2 coupon for a product that costs $1.50 qualifies as an overage. Consider checking out whether the store you frequent offers such coupons; if they do, that overage amount will be applied to another item in your shopping cart.
- Be careful about non-grocery items. Most grocery stores carry many non-food items, such as shampoo, deodorant, batteries, etc. Often, these items are significantly more expensive than when bought at a drug store or large retailer. It’s often worth the trip to another store for non-grocery items in order to keep costs down.
- Think about shelf life. Buying in bulk can be a good way to save – but not if you’re purchasing goods with a short shelf life. For example, if you rarely uses bleach, buying a large quantity probably makes no sense; after six months, bleach starts to degrade. Nuts also go bad, usually after three to six months. On the other hand, items such as white rice, honey, peanut butter, and canned beans tend to have much longer shelf lives and are more appropriate for bulk buys.
Shopping frugally takes a bit of planning and thinking, but many home caregivers find that taking the extra time pays off.