SOURCE: Author Toni House

Author Toni House

December 21, 2011 12:43 ET

'Savvy Shopper' Shares Secrets for Putting Grocery Bills on a Diet

PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwire - Dec 21, 2011) - Toni House, a mom with executive-level experience in accounting and the restaurant industry, pared the monthly grocery bill for her family of four to $250. Now, she shares her tricks and tips in her new book "Savvy Shopping: How to Reduce Your Weekly Grocery Bill to $85 Per Week - or Less!" (

"If you want to start the new year with fewer expenses, a great place to save is at the grocery store," House says. "You can trim the 2012 household budget with planning, patience and grocery shopping 'guardrails' to keep your cart in line."

House offers these tips:

  • Be patient - wait for good deals. Save pricier purchases for double coupon days. The more you rush to purchase an item, the less you save.
  • Be detail-oriented. There is a lot of fine print involved in being a savvy shopper, from expiration dates to special offers to asterisks. Know exactly when a coupon expires, how much it's for, how much more it will be worth on double coupon days and whether or not it's worth the price in the first place.
  • Plan ahead. Plan a menu for at least three meals in advance; combined with leftovers; that should give you five days or more of meals, depending on the meal. This puts you in control of your shopping list; and not the other way around. Instead of always playing catch-up, replacing what you've run out of, you buy only when it's on the menu. Same goes for cereal, yogurt, bananas, fresh herbs and spices, etc.
  • At the grocery store, buy ONLY what you can eat. That means no paper plates, toilet paper, plastic cups, Army men, toothbrushes, jar candles. Grocery store prices for non-food items are higher than you'll pay almost anywhere else.
  • Do use coupons, but only for products you actually need. Let's say you just bought twice as many hot dog buns as you needed last week and now you've run across a two-for-one coupon for... more hot dog buns? Do you really have room in your freezer for all those buns?

About Toni House

Toni House has a bachelor's in accounting and a master's in business administration and was most recently the senior consultant and owner of an accounting firm. "How to Reduce Your Grocery Bill" is her second "Savvy Shopping" book.

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