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Bonus: many of them make for more sustainable food choices, too.

Easy tips to save money every day - by Better Money Habits®

Grocery stores are strategically designed to place essential ingredients, such as dairy and produce, on opposite ends of the store. Try to skip the middle aisles of the store and stick to only the items you need. Coupons can save you some serious cash. Check out sites like coupons. Save those items for the pharmacy, where they are usually cheaper.

You might be used to a particular brand of cereal or sugar, but the generic options are usually cheaper. Generic brands often use name-brand products with their own labels on it, and they offer it at a better price. Since we tend to look at items that are at our eye level, grocery stores know to place the more expensive items on the shelves we see first. When shopping, look at the higher and lower shelves for cheaper items.

Saving money on groceries

When an item that most people use, like olive oil, goes on sale at the store, it sells out quickly. Inquire about getting a rain check. Some grocery stores offer the option of getting an extension on sold-out sale items. But making a good pot of beans is really easy — we promise!

While the difference in price is not enough to break the bank, these little changes will add up. Many of us go to the grocery store after work and before dinner, which is when we start to get hungry. Try to get the shopping out of the way on the weekends, when you can shop on a full stomach. Not only will it taste infinitely better, but it will save you serious money.

Out-of-season produce travels far, which are costs you end up paying for. Making a trip to an international market can save you a ton on spices and specialty ingredients. The average 16 oz.

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No matter how good your memory is, write a grocery list. Consider keeping your children at home, if possible. And you can do it no matter the amount or lack of space you have. Fresh herbs cost a small fortune at the grocery store.

Often times you can buy an entire plant for less than you can a few sprigs at the supermarket. Just like with pre-packaged lettuce and pre-cut fruit, grated cheese costs you extra for the convenience. With a less expensive block of cheese, and a cheap box grater, you can start saving money on this ingredient. This is the biggest waste of money since you can make your own spice mix with seasonings you most likely already have on hand.

I also get a supermarket card, which allows shoppers a free hot beverage, for when my food budget kicks in. I'd promised my sister I'd babysit on day two, so she comes and picks me up and drives me to her house which is just outside London. While there, I remember I forgot to buy eggs, so she suggests I collect some from her chickens.

When it comes to work, as a freelance writer I usually base myself in-house at magazines or write from home or coffee shops. This week, I head to the British Library, where access is free and the quiet is blissfully conducive to meeting deadlines. I bring a packed lunch and use the water drinking fountain.

The organisation required for the challenge — and the immediacy of the results i. The first hurdle arrives with a dinner arrangement on day four, but I suggest to friends we swap our restaurant for a picnic in a London park. That evening the weather is against me — and it pours.

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We decamp to a bar, and I drink water while they sip wine. They offer to buy me a drink but I'd prefer not to fall into the habit of accepting freebies from friends that I can't repay. I resolve to spend this week focusing on the anti-waste part of my challenge. I start by downloading an app that tries to prevent food waste by connecting you with people in your area with surplus food. People give away, for free, everything from spices to tinned veg, although the really desirable items pastries, breads, and ready meals go fast. I bid on some snacks and pick them up from a family who happened to live two streets away.

On Saturday night, my husband and I stay in. We also use up a lot of ingredients that have been clogging up our cupboards since we moved in several years ago. The convenience of spending is partly what makes it such a hard habit to kick, so I ask Simonne for her advice on how to keep going. Monday kicks off brilliantly — literally — with a free kickboxing trial I found on a voucher website.

The endorphins flood and it inspires me to search out more ways to get fit for free. I register with a group that encourages people to combine exercise with volunteering, and sign up to another scheme, which offers free fitness classes in London boroughs.

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  4. On Tuesday, I convince two friends to meet me at a free karaoke night in a local bar. But only four other people turn up, and after witnessing an awkward rendition of a Bob Marley classic, one of my friends suggests we scarper for food. But this makes them uncomfortable and they insist on paying for me. Discussing this with Simonne, she suggests it might be helpful if I rethink the language I use to describe my challenge. I hit the supermarket just before it closes and buy a reduced loaf of bread, some carrots, peppers, parsnips and a sachet of couscous.

    Planning around a budget helps me think through each purchase and avoid things I could easily make myself farewell shop-bought hummus. But then… disaster hits. I head to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which was booked weeks before starting my challenge, and after a four-and-a-half hour train journey and a free show, I find myself in town at 10pm. I ask Simonne why the thrill of spending is so alluring. But that euphoria is rarely long-lasting. This week reaps the rewards of all my research, and my phone pings with free food notifications, as well as emails about local household items up for grabs.

    I still live in hope that a home-testing club will send me a free deodorant sample soon. It would have been more if not for my Edinburgh blowout. Still, I was shocked to see how much I saved — and have already transferred the amount into my savings account. So will I stick to mindful spending? Packed lunches are here to stay, as is walking more, and using up surplus food, but I might relax some of my more strict rules and allow myself the odd drink with friends.

    This experiment has helped me discover ways to save, while teaching me to be creative with less money.

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    12 Ways to Save Big on Grocery Shopping & Cut Your Bill Without Coupons | Canada | My Money Coach

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