Inflation is busting budgets across the country, especially food budgets. Trips to the grocery store cost families more and more, and it’s getting harder and harder to make healthy meals on a budget.
However, savvy shoppers can eat well while spending less. Here are some great tips for saving money on groceries so inflation doesn’t eat away at your budget.
Compare Price Per Unit
Bigger isn’t always better, but sometimes buying in bulk pays! most grocery stores list the price per unit on the tag, so you can determine whether the bigger package is actually the better deal.
Stick to Generics
Opting for generic brands is a great way to save money on groceries. Name-brand hot dog buns are $2.99, while the generics are 87 cents. Name brand corn flakes are almost $3 a box, while the generic is 99 cents. The few dollars here and there add up quickly, and most generic products are just as good as their name-brand counterparts.
Skip the Drinks
Soft drinks and juices taste good, but they aren’t necessary. Most of it is just sugar anyway, and the cost really adds up. A twelve-pack of name-brand pop costs three to four dollars, and so does a quart of sugar water!
Even buying bottled water at the store adds up. It’s cheaper (and better for the environment) to just drink from the tap at home. Invest in a filtered water system if you don’t like the taste.
Cook from Scratch
Cooking from scratch isn’t feasible for everyone. Long working hours and stressful commutes make homecooked meals impossible to prepare.
However, if you have the time, you can’t beat the price of a home cooked meal. A pre-packaged freezer lasagna costs about eight dollars, and it barely feeds two people. Lasagna noodles, tomato sauce, cheese, and veggies cost only a little more, but you can make enough lasagna to feed a family for days!
Chop Your Own Veggies
Most grocery stores now offer pre-cut fruits and vegetables, which are convenient but far more expensive than uncut varieties.
Baby carrots are the most glaring example. A bag of carrots costs less than a dollar, while a pack of “ready to eat” baby carrots costs upwards of three dollars, and typically has less carrots. Freshly peeled carrots taste better too.
Use A Cash Back App
If you aren’t using Ibotta to earn cash back on groceries you need to sign up right now. Ibotta gives you real cash back on things you were already going to buy. Combine it with other cashback apps, like your grocery store’s app or coupons.com for even more savings.
Find the Cheaper Stores
Some stores are more expensive than others. Traditional grocers like Publix or Kroger may have higher prices than big box stores like Walmart. Walmart gets a bad rap, but it’s worth shopping there to save $10-$20 on your weekly shopping.
For even more savings, consider budget stores like Aldi or a dollar store. Some dollar stores have produce sections, but even those that don’t have a few food items.
Get Your Spices Elsewhere
American grocery stores inflate the price of spices. If you use a lot of cinnamon, cumin, or other spices, consider shopping at an Asian or Mexican grocery store instead. These stores offer the same spices, but you can often get them in bulk for far cheaper than at either Krogers or Walmart.
Make a List and Stick to it
Impulse buys bust budgets everywhere. Before heading to the store, make a list and a promise to stick to it. You don’t need the chips and cookies lining the exit lane, begging you to buy them.
It’s okay to buy a little junk food, leave yourself room for one tasty treat per grocery store trip. That way you won’t feel like you’re missing out.
Use the Store’s Loyalty Program
Lots of grocery stores still have that loyalty card thing that gives you better deals than the “normal customers.” Anyone can sign up for these cards, and it’s really just a giant marketing scheme to collect your data, but hey, it can really help you save money on groceries.
Eat Less Meat
Meat is expensive, and not everything actually needs it. You could easily make vegetarian spaghetti (or any pasta, for that matter), chili, stuffed peppers, and more.
Opt for potato tacos instead of ground beef tacos, enjoy salad as your full meal one night per week, or put less meat in that casserole. Reducing meat in one or two meals per week can save you a ton on groceries.
Become a Culinary Master!
Cooking is far cheaper than eating out, but where do you start? These tips will help you become a master chef in no time!
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