We are spending more money than ever on our cost of living these days. Not only are we spending more money with race fee’s, training gear, the gas pump but also at the grocery store. What this means is that we need to find ways to start cutting costs and coming up with smart ways to save money. These 10 tips will help you slash your grocery costs without sacrificing nutrition or taste.
1. Meal Plan
Meal planning is one of the best ways to save money and time in the kitchen. It keeps you from impulse buying at the store and also keeps food waste at a minimum, thus saving you money.
2. Make Healthy Choices
People who tend to go on diets and make healthier food choices also tend to save more money. The savings come from reducing portion sizes and from buying fewer of the high-calorie foods that tend to increase the amount spent at the grocery store. People tend to spend a lot on those “extras” — foods that add calories but little nutritional value, like sodas, bakery items, and chips. By making “healthier” choices, these extras go away.
3. Buy Produce in Season
Food in season is usually priced to sell. During the summer corn can cost as little 10c an ear but during the winter months can jump to $2 an ear. Also, shop your local farmers markets for good deals.
4. Use Sales and Coupons
Planning meals around what’s on sale can lower your grocery bills, especially if you also use coupons. Just make sure they’re for items you would buy anyway.
5. Brown Bag It
Not only will packing your lunch save you money, but it is also healthier because you are controlling what the ingredients are and how it is prepared. Pack a simple sandwich, salad, soup, wrap, a hearty snack of cheese or your leftovers from dinner the night before.
6. Start Thinking Frozen and Dried
Fruits and vegetables are frozen at their peak freshness so you are not losing any nutritional value by buying them. Fish and poultry are usually flash-frozen to minimize freezer damage and retain freshness.
7. Save on Protein Foods
When possible, substitute inexpensive vegetarian sources such as beans, eggs, tofu, and legumes for more expensive meat, fish, or poultry. Start eating vegetarian once a week or more to increase your consumption of healthy plant foods while saving money. Eggs are an excellent, inexpensive source of protein that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
8. Go Generic
Consider buying store brands instead of pricier national brands. Also start looking away from eye level where most of these products are.
9. Buy Pre-Packaged Only if You HAVE To
Unless you have a coupon or the item is on sale, buying prepackaged, sliced, or washed products comes with a higher price tag because of convenience.
10. Buy and Cook in Bulk
Cooking in bulk can save both money and time. Prepare food in bulk and freeze it in family-sized or individual portions. It will also save you time in the kitchen which is very important. For example, making a big batch of tomato sauce will be less expensive (and probably tastier) than buying it.