Despite the fact that the prices of everyday grocery items continue to creep upwards, a trip to the supermarket doesn’t have to break your budget. By sticking to some common thrifty rules, you can end of saving more than ever before. Here are ten easy ways to save on groceries.
Make a list and check it twice. Always make a shopping list before you hit the grocery story and make a promise to stick to it. Supermarkets are infamous for displaying items in a way that makes you want to buy on the spot. Stick to your list and you’re less likely to fall victim to unnecessary purchases.
Don’t shop while your tummy is grumbling. It’s a proven fact that consumers are more likely to spend more at the grocery store if they’re shopping on an empty stomach. Have a snack before you go to the grocery store so you stick to your list and avoid quick fixes.
Buy a whole ham or a rotisserie chicken and have the deli slice it on the spot. Deli meat can sometimes cost more than filet mignon when you compare prices by the pound. If your family relies on deli meats for lunchbox sandwiches, buy a whole ham or a rotisserie chicken and ask the deli to slice it for you on the spot. You’ll leave with a cheaper and fresher alternative to deli meats.
Invest in a deep freezer. Use a deep freezer to store the items you buy in bulk and on sale. Cooking on the weekend for the entire week can be a time and money saver, too, making a deep freezer a wise investment. Pinterest is a great resource for planning a week of meals that you can prep in one day.
Give your local ethnic supermarket a try. Ethnic supermarkets aren’t just for gathering hard-to-find ingredients: they often offer cheaper produce, meats and more. I make a trip to my local southeast Asian grocery once per month to stock up on tea, rice and dried beans.
Choose unprocessed snacks over packaged, processed snacks
. Packaged, processed snacks can take a toll on both your budget and your waistline. Stick with unprocessed snacks that you can prepare at home and easily pack up for on the go. A bag of popcorn kernels, as an example, can be popped into bowls and bowls of popcorn at home, making for a cheap, healthy and easy snack.Know when to it’s okay to skip organic
. Buying organic is great for the planet and your health, but some foods are less likely than others to contain pesticide residues. Avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, onions and mangoes are on the okay list. For more information on when to buy organic and when not to, check out the Environmental Working Group’s Produce Guide
Avoid pre-cut produce. Yes, it’s convenient. But it’s also more expensive and the fruits/veggies tend to lose their freshness along the way. Buy your produce whole, instead, and make a point of cutting and chopping it as soon as you return home from the supermarket. A good set of storage containers and sharp knives will making everything easier.
Pick your own fruits from a local orchard. Save on labor and transportation costs by heading to your local orchard and picking your own fruit. Enlist the help of your kids!
Even better…grow your own food! Even city dwellers can dedicate a few pots for raising up some fast-growing veggies like kale. Growing your own fruit and veggies is not only budget wise…it’s also very rewarding. Ask for help at your local garden center and start small by making an herb garden of your very own.