Groceries can take a huge bite out of a budget. According to the most recent report from the BLS, the average American household spent around $4,000 on food in 2012.
Want to cut those costs? You probably already know about things like buying on sale and using coupons.
Hopefully also things like using a list. So what else is there? What else can you do?
First, the whole truth: Whole chickens are cheaper than cut-up, whole fruit is cheaper than pre-sliced.
Block cheese is cheaper than grated. Don't pay someone to do your slicing for you.
Next: generics and store brands: that' a simple way to save 20 to 50 percent on stuff that's sometimes identical. Worried about quality? Many stores offer a money-back guarantee on their house products, so if you don't like it, take it back.
Another thing that really matters is where you shop. Sure you know about warehouse stores. But what about farmers markets, food coops You know about warehouse and discount stores, but what about farmers markets, food coops, buying clubs?
What about local places? They can often get you screaming deals on things like organics. Another great place to save: salvage grocery stores.
This is where you'll find dented cans, torn packaging, closeouts...you get the picture. It's not pretty, but it's cheap: up to 50 percent off.
"My cupboard stays all dented and smashed from one side to the other, but I save a lot of money and the food tastes the same."
Finally, take care of the food you do buy. Buttering cheese prevents mold. Transfer small amounts of perishables, like sour cream, into smaller containers. Store things air-tight. Freeze things before they go bad.
Bottom line? If you want to squash your grocery bill, there are lots of ways to do it.
Now what you need is more details. I've got lists of food coops, salvage grocery stores waiting for you at moneytalksnews.com and do a search for "saving on food."
For Money Talks News, I'm Stacy Johnson.