Groceries

Food Assistance:If you’re really struggling to make ends meet, help is available.

Most communities have food pantries that offer free food. In addition, many bakeries and fruit stands throw out perfectly good, day-old food. Many are willing to donate it if you ask.

If you live in the United States, you may be eligible for food stamps. 35 million low-income Americans receive government food assistance of some sort.

Save on Groceries

Here are some easy ways to save on groceries.

Clip Coupons. Did you know that most grocery stores post their weekly coupons online? PrintableGroceryCoupons.net will help you find the coupons for most national chains. Also, when checking out, ask the cashier if there are any coupons for the items you bought. Additionally, find more coupons at Coupons.com and SmartSource

Buy Generic. Many generic products are identical to the more expensive brand names – some are even made in the same factory! Haven’t tried generic recently? Many store brands, such as Safeway Select, can taste better than the brand names.

Buy in Bulk. When an item is on sale, buy it in bulk. This is especially true for things that don’t go bad, like toilet paper or laundry detergent.

Buy Whatever’s On Sale. Stock up on your favorite brands when they’re on sale. If all of your usual favorites are full-price, then buy whatever is on sale. It’s good to try new things.

Double-Check the Price. Watch the register as items are scanned. Make sure you are not over-charged.

Going Out for Food & Drinks

Save money when going out for fun evening activities.

Don’t Order Unpriced Drinks. Ever go to a restaurant and the drinks don’t have prices? Ask the price. It could cost as much as your meal!

Check Your Bill. If you didn’t get all your food, make sure it doesn’t show up on the tab.

The “Special.” If the server doesn’t give you a price for the daily special, make sure to ask. It will usually be expensive.

Pre-Drink. Instead of two drinks at the bar, have one drink at your friend’s house before heading out.

Don’t Overeat. Skip on the appetizers and desserts. Better yet, split an appetizer, entree, and dessert between two people. Except if you can win a pizza contest :)

The Best Way to Save. The easiest way to save is obvious. Socialize more at home with your friends, using food and drinks from the grocery store.

Save On Coffee

Drinking my morning coffee is one of my favorite parts of the day. But that doesn’t mean I can’t save some money too.

Hold the Milk. For many, drip coffee tastes just as good or better than a latte. It’s healthier too, and half the price.

I’m Slumming It. Gotta have the latte? McDonald’s is about 25% cheaper than Starbucks but just as good according to taste tests. Gas stations also have cheap coffee, but the taste varies.

Make Your Own. Make your own coffee and see how much you’ll save. If you use good beans, it’ll be just as good as the store-bought kind.

Proceed to Step 9: Gas and Auto

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