Everyone is feeling the effects of inflation right now. Your local coffee shop increased prices and so did every grocery store in your city. In fact, grocery store prices are up 12% from last year, and certain food groups are up more than that. That means that if your grocery budget was $500, you can now expect it to be $560. And if you purchase eggs, milk, and beef, for example, they are available at a significantly higher cost.
Even though the cost of living is at the highest it’s been in 40 years, there are things that you need to live. Groceries are necessary and even though they are pricier than they have been, buying food at the grocery store is more affordable than eating out all the time. And if you’re smart about the way you shop, you can save five to 10% a year on your grocery purchases. Read on if you want to learn how to save on groceries.
Search For The Deals
You don’t have to turn into a coupon fanatic, but browsing the weekly ads that markets send out can help you make smarter purchases. On top of that, many grocery stores have digital deals if you download their app. You can often see these deals when you comb the aisles, so you can clip the coupons right there in the store. Looking at what is on sale before you go to the market, though, is a great way to shop on a budget.
Rethink Your Protein
Foods like eggs, chicken, beef, and seafood typically cost the most compared to other grocery items. It may be more beneficial to consider vegetarian protein options, as they are more affordable. We are not talking about lab meat, i.e. Impossible, Beyond, or any similar brand. Beans, tofu, chickpeas, lentils, and quinoa are more affordable than meat and more nutritious for the body. If you still want to buy meat, consider buying in bulk, as larger portions are cheaper than a lot of smaller ones.
Buy Reusable Instead Of Disposable
Buying something for $5 that you use once and throw away is a great way to throw away money. If you buy something similar for $10 that is reusable, you can use it over and over again. Reusable products cost more upfront, but they save you money in the long run. Plus, reusable products are much better for the environment, as they don’t contribute to plastic waste.
Buy In Bulk
While it may cost more initially, buying in bulk from warehouse stores can help you lower your per-unit cost. It’s better to buy toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags, and other household items in bulk because you don’t have to go to the store as often. That also means you save on gas, which has dramatically increased in price. You don’t want to get more than you need, though, especially in regards to produce. For example, you don’t want to buy a large bag of oranges and have half the bag go bad.
Most over-spending that occurs at the grocery store results from entering the store without a plan. The same over-spending can happen if you enter the grocery store on an empty stomach. Go to the store with a list and don’t buy anything else that isn’t on it. Making impulse purchases may not seem like a big deal, but they slowly chip away at your bank account. Keep your pantry and refrigerator organized, so that you can easily keep track of what you have and what is expired vs. not expired.
Be Picky With Produce
Americans need to eat more fruits and vegetables, which can seem expensive. There are ways to stretch your dollar and still fill your grocery cart with nutritious ingredients. You can opt for frozen vegetables or fruit to help save money, but make sure there are no preservatives on the ingredient list. Canned beans or chickpeas are not the worst, especially if you get the unsalted varieties. Additionally, make sure you are going to eat what you buy. For this reason, you need to learn how to store your produce so that it stays fresh for as long as possible.
Start Meal Prepping
When you plan your meals out for the coming days or week, you can both utilize the groceries you purchase, and avoid wasting money by going out to eat a lot. Plus, meal prepping involves making a specific grocery list. It also forces you to look in your pantry to utilize things you may already own. You can find lots of inspiration for meal prep ideas online, so find meals that entice your taste buds and go from there.