Grocery Saving Strategies: A Necessary Game

July 13, 2011

Find out what strategies your fellow shoppers are taking to save on their grocery bills.

If you are the one in your household that does the shopping and manages the grocery budget, you've no doubt seen food prices rise throughout the year. From extreme couponing to home gardening, Americans are getting creative and looking for ways to make their dollars stretch. SupermarketGuru conducted a poll last month to find out what strategies our readers are using to make ends meet. Here's what we found.

First we wanted to find out how much time people are spending planning their shopping/savings, and our results show that most (46%) spend under one hour. Another 27% spend one hour, and another 25% spend one to two hours. For some, that's a lot of time out busy schedules just to plan for shopping.

Next, we asked readers to tell us how long they are spending at the grocery store on their weekly trip. Nineteen percent say they spend under one hour while another 34% say they spend one hour. The majority (44%) say they spend one to two hours on their shopping trip.

With that in mind, 59% told us that saving time is equally as important as saving money, and 20% said saving time is extremely important to them. Another 20% said saving time is not important at all.

But what seems to be top of mind for shoppers these days is saving money. Seventy percent said that saving money is extremely important, and only 28% said saving money is equally important as saving time.

So what kinds of things are folks doing to save on their grocery bills? Eighty-six percent are clipping print coupons, 64% are printing online coupons, 63% are matching coupons to grocery circulars, 58% are making and sticking to a shopping list, 25% are downloading coupons to their frequent shopper card or ID number, and four percent are using mobile coupons. No wonder some people are spending one to two hours planning their shopping trips!

And if that's not enough, 17% say they are paying for multiple newspaper subscriptions. Another 17% are setting up multiple computers for print at home computers. Thirteen percent are buying coupons online, 11% dive in dumpsters for coupons, and five percent are seeking out foreclosed homes for their newspapers/coupons. Wow!

To add to that, shoppers now are spending more time making room for extra groceries in their homes. We asked our readers if they stockpile groceries when they find a good deal. Most (53%) said just a couple of extras, but still 37% answered yes! Thirty-five percent are keeping one to two weeks of food/perishables on hand, 27% keep a one month supply, 22% keep a two to six month supply, and 12% keep enough for a week.

Although financial circumstances have forced many to pinch pennies, it isn't just saving money that motivates people to employ these strategies. Sixty-two percent do it out of necessity while 53% do it to have extra money to spend elsewhere. But for 50% it's just become a habit, and 49% simply say they enjoy it. Another 22% feel like it's a game!

Keep saving and happy shopping!