Food Shopping While on a Budget: 12 Ways You Can Save Money on Your Next Shopping Trip
Food shopping while on a budget can be tricky. But, it doesn't have to be! Here are 12 ways you can save money on your next shopping trip without burning through your savings:
1- Make a list: dedicate one day of the week to plan future meals and make a grocery list accordingly. Making a list helps you purchase what you’re sure you’ll need and will prevent unnecessary purchases and food spoiling at home because you haven’t used it.
2- Make an inventory of your kitchen before hitting the grocery store: it’s important that you look in your fridge and pantry to see what ingredients you already have on hand before you go out and buy some more of the same food. You’d be surprised with how easy it is for cans and sauces to hide in the back of your cabinets.
3- Buy generic brands: most grocery stores carry generic brands for a lot of products. These are often of good quality but less expensive than national brands.
4- Use coupons and sale days: make use of the coupons you get from your grocery stores or download your store’s app (if available) to clip deals and save some cash. Speaking of saving money, you can check your local store deals and plan your meal according to specials.
5- Shop in season: local produce is way cheaper and more nutritious when you buy it in season.
If you end up buying more produce then you need and you don’t want it to go bad, you can always freeze the extras and incorporate them into future recipes.
6- Don’t shy away from frozen or canned fruits and veggies: fresh fruits and veggies aren’t in season all year long, which means they’re not always affordable. Canned or frozen fruits and veggies are a cheaper and nutritious option that you can use when cooking.
7- Buy in bulk: purchasing staples you commonly use in the kitchen in large quantities can save you a lot of money. Grains, rice, oats, lentils, nuts and beans in bulk are inexpensive and last quite a long time in your kitchen without going bad.
8- Don’t shop when you’re starving: when you’re hungry, everything sounds good. Having a snack before you head to the grocery store will help you stay focused on your list and avoid grabbing unnecessary items that you won’t use for your weekly meals.
9- Buy whole foods: shredded cheese is more expensive than a block of cheese, so you might want to consider buying the whole form of the food and chopping it or shredding it at home.
10- Head to your farmer’s market late: farmer’s markets can sometimes be expensive, but there’s a secret they don’t tell you. About an hour before the market closes, foods are less expensive because no one wants to carry their products back to the car after a day of sitting out. If you have a farmer’s market near you, head over there a little before it closes and check out the deals.
11- Leave the specialty items for specialty stores: if you want to purchase specialty sauces, condiments or produce, don’t buy them at mainstream supermarkets. Instead, head to your local Asian, Mediterranean, Indian, or any other specialty store to buy spices, condiments and any other specialty items you need.
12- Plan meals around similar ingredients: you don’t want to buy an ingredient and only use it for one meal. Make sure to create weekly meals that center around similar ingredients so you can save money while shopping at the grocery stores. That’s how you get more for less.
Hopefully this article has made food shopping while on a budget a bit easier, now it's time to go save money on your next shopping trip!