Here's how you can lower your grocery bill

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Washington, Mar 30: Is the grocery bill digging a big hole in your pocket? Then adhere to some tips offered by a resource management specialist that will help you save your wallet from getting empty so easily.

According to Sissy Osteen, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension resource management specialist, there are number of ways by which consumers can do to help out their wallet, with the first being simply making fewer trips to the store. "Make a big trip once or twice a month. The fewer times you're in the store, the less opportunity you'll have for impulse buying. Research indicates that consumers making a 'quick trip' to the store end up spending 54 percent more than they intended," Osteen said. A consumer who goes to the store three times per week and spends 10 dollars on impulse purchases each trip will end up spending an additional 120-dollar per month. By going to the store just once per week, consumers will spend only 40 dollar per month on these purchases; shopping once per month results in only 10 dollar spent on impulse items.

The shop-less save-more strategy can save families nearly 1,000 dollar per year. Shoppers can easily shave several dollars from their grocery bill by purchasing generic or store brand products over national brand items.

"In most cases you won't sacrifice much in quality. Everything from cereal and frozen vegetables to canned goods and prescription drugs is available under a generic or store brand label. You can save from a few cents to a couple of dollars per item. The savings can quickly add up," Osteen said.

Osteen said coupons also could be a good way to save money. Many stores will double coupons up to a dollar. "Be sure to compare the discounted price to the price of a store-brand product," she said. "Even with a coupon, you may be better off buying the store brand," she added.

Also, when it comes to shopping, make a list and stick to it. Plan the week's meals and snacks and jot down everything needed for each meal. If possible, shop without your children so you are not tempted to give into pressure from youngsters for an extra treat or toy that is not on the list.

"Be sure to compare prices on everything. Bagged apples may be cheaper than bulk apples," Osteen said. "Bagged salads will cost you more than buying the ingredients separately," Osteen added. Eating out is another way consumers can let spending get out of control. Make an effort to cut back on eating out, drive-through dining and food delivered to the home.


ANI

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