5 Smart Ways to Save Money on Your Groceries
Groceries are a significant part of your monthly expenses, so you need to know how much you can spend on them. Food is a necessity, so don’t set your budget too low that it’s not feasible, but don’t go overboard and blow your budget.
To help you set a realistic grocery budget, start by looking at what you’ve spent in the past. Pull out your grocery receipts to help you do that.
Once you know how much, on average, you’ve been spending on groceries each month; it’s time to make some adjustments. Here are five ways you can save money and stretch your grocery budget.
1. Don’t Go Grocery Shopping When You’re Hungry.
When you go grocery shopping when you’re hungry, you might overspend. This can happen because you’ll be more likely to buy foods that are high in calories and unhealthy.
According to a study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, study participants bought more high-calorie foods when they were hungry and in the presence of unhealthy food.
Many people are guilty of this. So, try to go grocery shopping when you’re not hungry to make healthier choices and save money.
2. Plan Your Meals For The Week And Make A Grocery List.
Meal planning is a great way to ensure that you eat healthy meals. Also, it’ll help you to make the most of your weekly budget. For example, you can make do with groceries for $300 a week if you plan well.
When creating your grocery list, be sure to include all of the ingredients for each meal. Doing so will help you avoid buying extra items that you don’t need. The results of these include saving money and reducing food waste.
3. Cook From Scratch.
Cooking from scratch can help you save money in a few ways. For one, processed foods are often more expensive than ingredients you’d use to make a meal from scratch.
Second, cooking your meals means you can avoid the expensive restaurant and take-out fees. Finally, when you cook at home, you have more control over the ingredients and the portion sizes, which can help you eat healthier and stay within your budget.
Some tips for cooking at home:
- If you’re new to cooking, start with simple recipes. Cooking from scratch doesn’t have to mean making complicated dishes. In fact, there are tons of easy recipes out there that taste amazing and won’t break the bank.
- Invest in good cookware. Investing in quality cooking equipment can be expensive at first, but it’s much less expensive than buying new cookware every few years because yours is falling apart.
- Try bulk cooking. Instead of making enough food for one meal, consider doubling (or tripling!) your recipe and freezing the leftovers so you can enjoy them later on in the week or month. Doing so will save you time and energy while also helping you stretch your food budget.
4. Compare Prices Between Stores.
Not all stores have the same prices for the same items, so it’s important to compare prices before you make a purchase. You can compare prices by searching for the item on Google or looking at the different stores’ prices on their website.
Another option is to use a price comparison website like PriceGrabber or Shopzilla. These websites list the prices of items from different stores, so you can easily see who has the best deal.
If you’re looking for a specific item, be sure to check out the store’s weekly ad before you go shopping. Some stores have sales every week, so you may be able to find a good deal on the item you’re looking for.
5. Buy Food That’s In Season.
Seasonal produce is fresher and cheaper than out-of-season fruits and veggies. For example, rather than buying out-of-season strawberries in January, wait until they’re in season and buy them for a fraction of the price.
Seasonal fruits and veggies are often fresher as they don’t have to travel as far, so you’ll get more bang for your buck. Some popular fruit and vegetables that are in season at various times of the year include:
- Spring: asparagus, broccoli, leeks, and snow peas.
- Summer: apricots, blueberries, nectarines, and watermelon.
- Autumn: grapes, mushrooms, and parsnips.
- Winter: apples (green), carrots, potatoes (sweet), beetroot, and pumpkin.