Food costs are on the rise, meaning more money coming out of your budget for groceries. Luckily, there are numerous strategies for cutting back and saving on this expense.
Avoid purchasing items at eye level because these tend to be the most costly. Also, be sure to compare prices at different stores in your area.
Plan Your Meals Ahead of Time
Meal planning can help reduce food waste and save you money when grocery shopping. By planning meals in advance, you buy only what is necessary and cook with seasonal ingredients that may otherwise go to waste. For instance, when sweet potatoes come into season on Sunday evening you could roast some for use as dinner side and save any leftovers to make sweet potato soup on Wednesday.
Meal planning prevents this from happening! Without one, you might get distracted at the grocery store by an enticing food item and purchase it without realizing what to do with it – costing money and taking up time (and energy!). Meal planning saves both of these resources by keeping track of everything that needs to be cooked for meals each week.
Planned can be created either manually or using an app like Sortifyd. When creating your plan, include snacks and beverages for each day as well as any special needs or foods to avoid; for instance, if your children have nut allergies or you have gluten sensitivities you could include apples with almonds or smoothies in their plan on those specific days.
As part of your meal planning strategy, don’t forget to browse your supermarket catalog for deals on items you eat regularly – stocking up at discounted rates can help save money in the long run!
One way to cut costs when meal planning is by selecting recipes with ingredients that overlap. For instance, when making pasta on Tuesday and fish on Friday you could use the same sauce – saving both money and reducing waste by not needing to purchase these same items twice!
No matter if it is something new for you or something someone mentioned at the grocery store, knowing when and how to shop seasonally for food can save money. Doing this means purchasing fruits and vegetables when they are at their peak in terms of flavor and freshness while avoiding foods not in season.
Why eating seasonal food will save money because most fruits and vegetables have specific times during which they’re at their prime according to where they were grown, meaning sales at local grocery stores and farmers’ markets will likely coincide. Otherwise, they could cost more as they had likely been shipped or stored for extended periods, increasing costs further.
One other reason to purchase and consume seasonal fruits and vegetables is that their quality will be improved due to being grown, transported, and stored under optimal conditions – giving them maximum flavor and texture!
Eating seasonally can also help your local economy. Many farmers who sell at grocery stores and farmer’s markets provide CSA programs that enable you to purchase fruits and vegetables at set costs each week throughout the year, giving you access to fresh produce all year long – not to mention supporting jobs that benefit our community in turn.
Stock Up on Sale Items
While stockpiling may seem counterintuitive, purchasing multiple quantities of an item your family regularly needs at its lowest possible price can add up to significant savings, according to Melissa Jennings of the Savvy Savings blog. It is essential that only items you actually use and store are purchased – anything extra will go unused!
She suggests establishing your “burn rate”, the maximum time between purchases of any given product before its shelf-life expires, and shopping accordingly to help avoid overspending. For example, if five days pass between purchases of chopped salad bags on sale then make sure enough are purchased to last that length of time.
Staying stocked up on shelf-stable food can be invaluable during any kind of emergency, from natural disasters to periods of unemployment. According to NerdWallet blog, creating an emergency kit consisting of nonperishable foods, water, and first aid supplies quickly is key; ensure it can be easily reached in case evacuation becomes necessary.
Time of day can make all the difference when it comes to finding great grocery deals. Grocery stores typically restock shelves midweek, and clearance sales will often occur at the end of each week for items that did not sell over the weekend.
Shopping at the beginning of each week allows you to take advantage of any supermarket coupons available – which you may find at either the front of the store or online. Also bringing in your own reusable shopping bags may save money as many stores offer discounts based on how many are brought in at once.
Buy in Bulk
Bulk shopping can be an effective way to save money on food if done wisely. Unfortunately, however, it may not always be the optimal solution – only when the item regularly used by you and its price per unit is significantly cheaper than its full-price alternatives will bulk shopping be cost-effective for everyone. Warehouse stores such as Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s Wholesale provide good places for bulk purchasing; membership may be required but that cost can quickly be offset by savings realized on groceries!
New bulk shoppers should understand the significance of calculating unit prices on their purchases to determine if they’re actually saving money. A unit price is simply the total amount spent for one product – most items display this information clearly on their price tags and smartphone apps are an easy way to do this quickly; otherwise, simple math works just as well!
Initial outlays when buying in bulk may be daunting, particularly with more costly items. To minimize this shock, wait until you have extra funds such as from bonuses, tax refunds, or side hustle earnings to use as savings accounts and invest accordingly – even saving just $5 or $10 every week could add up and allow you to stockpile exactly what’s necessary.