Sadly, groceries don’t come cheap. But, if you practice these diligent tips and tricks, you can maximize your grocery cart while minimizing costs.
1. Buy in Bulk
A major budgeting tactic is to buy dry goods in bulk. Purchasing more for less. Buying in bulk lets you portion out servings for future snacks and meals. Find great deals on seeds, nuts, grains, and other dried goods in large amounts as opposed to paying more for individually wrapped portions.
2. Meal Plan
Going to the grocery store when you’re hungry will pay more for what you don’t need. Figure out a menu for the week, and only purchase the necessary ingredients for your meals. Budget a weekly amount per menu and reduce food costs and waste less.
3. Generic Brands
There is nothing wrong with saving a few dollars by refusing to buy name-brand items. Generic items cost less and taste the same. A box of Walmart-brand pasta costs less than a dollar, while the name-brand package costs $2.
Purchasing generic items can save hundreds or thousands of dollars on groceries annually. Don’t let name brands bully you into paying more for the same product.
4. Discount Meat
When meat gets close to its expiration, the workers discount the cuts. For example, target added a 70% discount on ground turkey a few weeks ago, approaching the expiration date. Once you purchase the meat, freeze it to maximize its use. Then, shop around in the middle of the week, after doors open, or before the store closes for the best deals.
5. Vaccum Sealing
Ever thought you closed a bag of chips only to return to stale crisps hours later? Vacuum sealing makes sure you’ll never eat a stale chip again. The sealer eliminates excess air from the bag, trapping the food inside a concealed case with little to no exposure to outside materials. This method preserves the food.
Freeing food maintains nutrients and prolongs shelf life. Veggies, fruit, and meats all do well in a freezer. If you want to freeze large portions of meat, invest in a chest freezer. If you cook a large meal but don’t eat all of it, throw the leftovers in the freezer and revisit it later.
Of course, a great way to save money is to browse the coupon book. Today, coupons come in physical and digital copies. Sometimes grocery stores have various app promotions or deals you can unlock on your phone. If not, pick up a coupon book and check the best deals.
8. Dried Vs. Canned
Dried beans have one ingredient, beans. Canned beans have additives and preservatives to enhance their shelf life. Although dried beans take longer to cook and prepare than heating a can, cooking beans from scratch is budget-friendly and much healthier than sodium-packed cans. Plus, making beans from scratch supplies far more than a can.
9. Frozen Food
Another great way to save money at the grocery store is to buy frozen food. Purchase big bags of frozen fruit and veggies, then portion them out per meal. These large bags of food don’t contain preservatives or additives like some fresh produce. You can figure out the correct measurements during meal planning.
Dining at restaurants is a surefire way to waste money. To avoid spending too much money on food, eat leftovers instead of going out to eat. If you don’t want to eat the same meal for several days, freeze your food or switch up your weekly menu.
This thread inspired this post.