You many not save a BUCKET of money but you will save some. As the cost of groceries continues to rise, I’m sure you are like us and feeling the pinch. Meal planning is already stressful for some NOW factor in the soaring cost of food and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Despite the state of the economy (no political comments please), stocking your kitchen pantry to feed yourself and your family is a weekly necessity. So, today, we’re making things easy for you by providing everything you need to know about shopping wisely, getting a good deal, and keeping your expenses low.
5 EASY WAYS TO SAVE BIG ON YOUR GROCERY BILL
1. PLAN YOUR MEALS AND CREATE A GROCERY LIST
Start by taking an inventory of your kitchen before going to the supermarket. Make note of the things running low or you want to be sure you have a back up for. You know those things that could cause you to make an extra stop or run to the store because not having them would cause havoc in your household. Take the time to write out a grocery list. It will help you stick to a budget and avoid overspending by reducing unnecessary purchases. I keep mine on my phone and as I think of things, I add them to the list. My meal planning journal is on the fridge. I usually plan on Saturdays, and shop on Mondays.
2. BROWSE THROUGH FLYERS AND GROCERY STORE WEBSITES
This is a simple but effective way to check for sales, lowest price options, and discounts. It doesn’t mean you have to always go to multiple stores to get what you need. I mean with the price of gas, this would be CRAZY, right? I tend to compare prices, see who has most of the things I want on sale and start there. Honestly, my two stores are usually Aldi’s and Acme. So I hit Aldi’s first then stop to Acme on my way home. Be sure you are part fo your store’s rewards program. Try using apps like Ibotta or Fetch where you earn money or rewards for the shopping you do every day. I also use Shopkick to earn discounts. For more rewards tips, see #6.
3. CONSIDER BUYING IN BULK
Not only does this save you more trips to the grocery store, but it’s often more cost- effective too. If you are shopping at the BULK stores be sure you know what your per item cost usually is. WHY? If you are not careful, you may end up paying more than you would if you bought multiple items in the grocery store. Since there are only 2 of us, we don’t do bulk stores BUT I do keep a stocked pantry. We are prepared for any and all emergencies.
4. EAT MORE PLANT-BASED
Meat now costs nearly 24% more than it did two years ago, and the prices continue to rise. The good news is there are tons of budget-friendly options out there to meet your protein needs. Plant-based proteins like chickpeas, edamame, beans, and tofu are great alternatives. We don’t do tofu since I have never been able to cook it so it tastes good BUT we do do other plant based options. For more ideas and recipes, be sure to check out this blog post all about plant-based eating!
5. BUY SEASONAL
Out-of-season produce is typically more expensive. If you have a local community farm, join it. Yes, there is an initial cost BUT in the long run for approximately 12 weeks plus, you will have awesome healthy fresh produce. Don’t know what is in season? Doing a fast search before you start planning and/or preparing your meals. Also, remember to store your produce in air-tight containers, like our Stay With Me Produce Savers, to limit food waste while stretching your dollar!
6. MAKE USE OF LOYALTY PROGRAMS & PRICE-MATCHING APPS
Find a grocery store with a loyalty program so you can get a rebate with every spend. Make a game out of it.. wouldn’t you love to see the savings line at the end of the grocery receipt? Most grocery stores will honor a price match – bring your circular with you from the other store.
7. SHOP YOUR GROCERY STORE BRAND PRODUCTS
They are just as good and often a lot less expensive than name-brand products! Did you know many store brands are made by your favorite “name” brand company?
8. CARVE OUT TIME FOR MEAL PREP AFTER GROCERY SHOPPING
It may take some extra time, but it makes your week so much smoother. Tuna, pasta, quinoa, rice, canned tomatoes, rolled oats, beans, and peanut butter are some of my favorite low-cost pantry staples. When the kitchen is stocked with healthy options, there’s no need to eat out.
9. USE THE FREEZER TO REDUCE FOOD WASTE
Yes, there are only 2 of us in the house. Yes, I do buy family packs of chicken breasts, then divide and freeze into smaller batches. I buy bulk meat and re-package them into smaller amounts based on our average dinner recipe. Frozen vegetables and fruit are also great when not in season.
What money-saving tips have helped you when grocery shopping? Which new recipes or tips are you most likely to try? Let us know – share them with us.