Do you have a high grocery bill? Learn how to save on groceries and get more for your money at the same time!
Do you know how much you are spending on groceries each month? According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the average family of four eating healthy meals spends around $567 to $1,100 a month on groceries. Feeding a family just isn’t cheap these days. Grocery spending is an area that nearly everyone can work to improve on, including myself, which brings me to today’s post.
Whether you’re grocery shopping for two or a family of five, some planning can help you bring your food budget under control. Try these 7 grocery hacks to save money on your next trip to the grocery store!
Always shop with a grocery list
Before you head to the grocery store, you should make a list of items that you need, as well as a list of essentials (pasta, rice,canned tomatoes) that you can stock up on if it is on sale.
Shopping with a grocery list helps you stick to items that you actually need and prevent impulsive buys. It also keeps you from making multiple trips to the store, where you may pick up random items that you wouldn’t have bought
Have a weekly meal plan
Meal planning is great for so many reasons, and one of them is that it helps you save money. When you list out exactly what meals you’ll be making for the week, you’ll know exactly what and how much you need to buy without wasting any food. You can even plan your meals around weekly sales and deals, or recipes using food ingredients you already have in your fridge, freezer, and pantry.
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Keep it seasonable
Sticking to in-season produce often promises the lowest prices and best quality, especially since stores always have sales on seasonal fruits and veggies. Recently, I was able to get fresh corn at my grocery store for $0.10 each! I ate them fresh for a couple of days, and then boiled and froze the kernels for future use. Produce such as berries and tomatoes are also great for freezing or canning.
Earn cash back by taking a picture of your grocery receipts
Ibotta is a free smartphone app that allows you to earn cash back on your groceries just by taking picture of your receipt. How exactly does work?
Basically, after you sign up for Ibotta, you can browse through the different cash back offers for grocery and household items. You simply have to take a picture of the receipt after purchasing the item to get the rebate. Pretty easy huh?
You’ll be able to use Ibotta at stores such as Target, Costco, Walmart, Whole Foods, and CVS. If you want to give it a try, you can use this code for a $10 sign-up bonus!
Buy in bulk selectively
Buying in bulk can save you money, but only if you’re good about eating what you buy. Items like pasta, grains, condiments and frozen fruits and veggies are often good bulk purchase because they last quite a while.
Purchasing meat in bulk is also a smart way to save money. When buying big cuts of meat or family packs, you can divide them up into portions, freeze and thaw as needed.
Be selective about items you buy in bulk though, because if part of the food goes bad before being eaten, it may actually be more expensive in the long run. I usually avoid buying items that can lose flavor, such as spices, or fresh produce that can go bad quickly.
Pay attention to unit prices
Comparing prices of items in different sizes can be tricky. An easy way is to look for the unit pricing label available at a lot of grocery stores, which is usually listed right next to the regular price of the item. It tells you what the per ounce or per pound prices are.
For example, the unit price of a bottle of ketchup is displayed as $0.07 per ounce for a small bottle, while those in fancy squeeze pouches go for $0.12 per ounce. That means it’s actually a better deal to buy the small bottle.
Stay away from prepped food ingredients
Pre-cut foods like fruits and veggies are convenient and may save a bit of time, however that convenience comes at a price. In fact, the price of processed veggies and meats are routinely more expensive than preparing your own! Same goes for pre-cut meat and other prepared ingredients ike hard-boiled eggs and triple-washed salad greens. Plus they’re not as healthy because of the nutrient loss during the prep process.
Ultimately, it’s better to take the time to do the slicing and dicing yourself. The extra work is worth it in the end.