Food takes up the lion’s share of any budget. Let’s explore some ways to save money at the grocery store.
7 Ways to Save Money at the Grocery Store 1 of 8
Shop Seasonally 2 of 8
Shopping seasonally is a great way to save on produce. Learning which vegetables and fruit are in season will allow you to save money and eat more deliciously. You can also tell which produce is in season by paying close attention to the things that are on sale.
Buy Ingredients, Not Meals 3 of 8
Prepared meals are by far the most expensive things in the store. They're only marginally cheaper than getting takeout! So, only buy ingredients for meals. Then make them yourself! If the frozen pizza looks good, get the ingredients for pizza. If the pasta/veggie/chicken frozen dinner thing looks interesting, trust me, the way you make it (without all the funky stuff) will taste WAY better.
Don’t Buy Things in Boxes 4 of 8
Think about it -- the only things that come in boxes are things you shouldn't be eating, anyway. Fruit snacks, granola bars, boxed meals (and hey! if we're buying ingredients instead of meals, then we aren't buying these anyway!) and all kinds of snacks are cheap calories in expensive packages.
Consider the Farmers Market 5 of 8
Sometimes, the farmers market gets a bad rap. People often think that everything is more expensive there. And if you go get cheese and meat and pesto, you'd believe them! But if you take the phrase literally and buy produce from farmers, you'll see that you save money. And, your money goes directly to farmers in your area. That's a win-win!
Chop Veggies as Soon as You Get Home 6 of 8
Do you ever have a lonely piece of broccoli die a slow and stinky death in the crisper drawer? Then you'll like this tip. As soon as you get home from the grocery store, immediately process the produce. This won't necessarily do wonders for the longevity of your vegetables, but it will ensure that you don't waste any food. Once you go to the effort of washing and chopping, you will be far less likely to forget about them. Then you're not wasting money on food you don't eat!
Cook Dinner More Often! 7 of 8
It goes without saying that cooking dinner at home, especially if you have a family, is more cost effective than eating out. Sometimes, though, you need a little inspiration. If that's the case, head over to our Healthy Eating section. The gorgeous pictures alone will inspire you. The other thing I like to do is "pretend" to go out to a restaurant. I'll find the menu online and decide what to order. Voila! That becomes my dinner plan.
Remember the True Cost of Cheap Food 8 of 8
Cheap food really is only cheap in the short term. Look at it this way: all the money you "save" by buying cheap carbohydrates is decidedly saving you money in the grocery section of your budget, but it'll add (and multiply) in the healthcare section of the budget. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon. Health is for the rest of your life. Eat more vegetables. Eat fewer cheap carbs. Feel better.