Food prices are continuing to rise everywhere. And let’s face it, that grocery bill can be pretty scary. With prices so high, it can be easy to grab less-than-healthy food options simply because they are more affordable.
No need to worry. With these 10 simple tips, you’ll learn ways to lower your grocery bill while still being able to provide healthy foods for you and your family.
10 Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill and Still Eat Healthy
Discover how to lower your grocery bill with these 10 tips, ideas, and must-have essentials.
Start with a plan
It’s important to always start with a plan. This means knowing what your family will need for the week before you go to the grocery store. Once a week, sit down and plan out the meals for the next week as a whole – including snacks and desserts. Take into consideration what your family enjoys, how much time the meal will take to cook, if the meals are balanced and healthy, and what ingredients you already have on hand at home. And be open to exchanging ingredients in a recipe so you don’t need to buy something new. For example, instead of buying canola oil, use the vegetable oil you already have in your pantry. By planning your meals ahead of time, you’ll be less likely to eat out or order expensive takeout.
Start at home
Before hitting the local grocery store, shop your own fridge or pantry. You may be surprised to find things you’ve forgotten about. By using ingredients you already have, you’ll save money by not buying extras of the same item. Plus, you can use what you find to plan out meals and snacks for the week. It’s a simple way to avoid food waste and keep your costs down.
Calculate as you go
As you’re going through the store, keep track of how much you’re spending. Use the calculator app on your phone or write down prices on a piece of paper. To make it easier and to allow for any sales tax, round up. For example, if an item is $4.98, round up to an even $5.00. And remember not to let those grocery labels or signs mislead you. What you may think an item is just $3.99 each, but it’s actually $3.99 per pound. Also check for any rules or restrictions to find out how much of an item you need to purchase to get that price before putting it into your shopping cart.
Find what’s on sale
You’ll always benefit from shopping the sales. Scan grocery store shelves while you shop to look for sales and pricing deals. If you’re shopping for a particular item and it’s out of your price range, check to see if something similar is on sale. For instance, you can swap out a more expensive basket of strawberries for a less-expensive basket of raspberries. Also keep an eye out for items that you use regularly that may be on sale while you’re at the store. It can be a great way to save money while stocking up your fridge or pantry. Just be sure it’s something your family will eat and that it won’t expire before you get the chance to use it.
Today, it’s convenient to just grab something that is already prepared and ready to eat. But with that convenience comes a higher price tag. Think about ways you can cut down on costs by prepping foods yourself. Cut up your own fruit or vegetables instead of buying them pre-cut, cook and season your own chicken, or mix up your own sauces or dressings at home, instead of buying more expensive bottled versions at the grocery store. These handy storage containers will help you keep things fresh and organized. Remember to always think about whether or not the price you’re paying is worth the convenience you’re getting.
Buy in bulk
If you have a large family, or eat certain items in large quantities, you may want to consider buying in bulk. It’s not only a great option for everyday products like milk, eggs, and meat, but also for home essentials like vitamins, paper towels, and toilet paper. Try shopping at different bulk retailers to find ones that offer the foods your family loves to eat as well as a variety of healthy options. Only buy an item in bulk if you know your family will use it, and try to stick to your list and avoid the temptation to buy any extras.
Use an app
Looking for a quick and easy way to find the grocery deals? Consider downloading a couponing app. Sure, you can clip coupons from the newspaper or mailers, but considering most of us use smartphones, an app just makes sense. These apps can help by scanning the internet for coupons and deals. And be sure to check to see if your favorite local grocery store offers an app option to take advantage of additional discounts and savings.
Use your leftovers
When you’re cooking at home every day, you may discover that you have a lot of leftovers. You can save money by reducing the amount of ingredients you’re buying or cutting down the size of your recipe if you’re always left with extras. Or you can use those leftovers and reheat them the next night or pack them up in an insulated, reusable lunch box to take to work.
Think about your produce
Getting and staying healthy means eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. However, produce can get expensive fast. Shopping for seasonal produce can help you get the best deals, or you can swap out fresh for frozen, canned, or dried options. They’re still packed with nutrition without the big price tag. But be careful to read the labels to avoid any added salt or sugar. And you can also save money and keep your produce fresher, longer with these produce saver containers.
Go meat free
One of the more expensive items on most grocery bills is meat. So how do you reduce the cost? A quick and easy way to stay on budget and still focus on your family’s health is to go meat free one or more nights per week. Instead, choose protein-rich sources like chickpeas, black beans, or even tofu. And if you absolutely must have meat every day of the week, consider swapping out more expensive meats for less expensive cuts.
Try these 10 tips to help lower your grocery bill while still being able to eat your favorite healthy foods.
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