Grocery shopping is a fact of life. We know we need to eat and provide for our family. But we shouldn’t skimp out on our physical health now, because we could pay medically for that later in life. The grocery/food bill is second only to our mortgage budget! Luckily, there are simple ways to save money at the grocery store just by changing a few habits.
Never shop hungry. We’ve all made that mistake and know where it gets us. Plan your trip to the store when it’s convenient for you- whether that is on the way home from work, once the kids are dropped off to school, or online late at night putting things in your cart to pick up the next day. This has become a favorite way to shop, because you can see exactly when you cart is getting close to your weekly limit and can pick and choose what to keep or return.
Number One Tip
This crucial tip is to shop once a week. It’s a hard habit to get into, but it makes such a difference. Every time you make a quick trip to the grocery store for a gallon of milk you pick up extra items. They add up quickly. Pick a day to shop and stick to it. Don’t get into the habit of swinging by the store for that one quick thing.
Pick Your Produce Wisely
Produce is best purchased when they are in-season. Planning your meal with out of season produce can bust your budget quickly. Choose produce from a farmer’s market where the taste is incomparable, and know that you’re getting the freshest produce. If you are buying at the grocery store, opt for fruits and vegetables that are uncut. When they come prepackaged and precut, you are paying an arm and a leg for it.
Don’t Waste Your Food
America is terrible at wasting food! We start with big plates, big portion sizes, and seconds- and soon, we have a plate full of good food that is going to the trash. Nobody likes to reuse plated food, and that’s not being advocated. But start with smaller portions. Freeze what you don’t eat. Use every part of what you have in your fridge, and meal plan so you don’t waste anything. Everything freezes!
Anything and everything can be frozen! If fruit doesn’t thaw out well, you can use them in smoothies or in baked desserts. If vegetables unfreeze a little mushy, throw them into a stew or a casserole and you’ll never taste the difference. Bread freezes and thaws perfectly well, and if freezer burnt make French toast or bread crumbs! Go right back to the previous tip, don’t waste perfectly good food!
Grocery shopping is a huge headaches for a good part of American households. Learning how to shop better, how to meal plan more appropriately, and limiting the waste that comes from both will fix a budgeting issue.