By: Sierra Girton, MS, CSCS, USAW
Grocery Shopping is usually one of the highest monthly expenses a household has to account for and allocate an adequate amount of financial resources towards. With food prices rising it is more challenging than ever to prepare well-balanced meals when on a tight budget. The larger the household the more expensive grocery shopping will be, but it doesn’t have to completely break your bank. While nutritious foods tend to be more expensive it is possible to save money while choosing more nutritious foods. Having a plan and a list before you step in the tempting aisles of the grocery store will help you zoom through the grocery store and come home with only the necessities. Here are some helpful tips that your bank account will appreciate.
- Better Health= Less Medical Costs
If you start making better food choices today the fewer days of work and school you will miss and the less likely you will have daunting expensive medical bills in the future. Your body will thank you today and your bank account will appreciate it in the future.
- Expect to Spend Time Grocery Shopping
Grocery shopping is usually one of a family’s largest monthly expenses, so investing a little more time in finding ways to save will add up to big savings over time. Making grocery lists ahead of time, scanning grocery store ads and reading the unit prices on the shelf barcodes are all ways that will make you a more money-saving and smart grocery shopper. Often times, the cheapest items are on the top and bottom shelves so get in the habit of not grabbing at eye level. It may seem very time consuming at first, but the more you do it the easier it gets!
- Don’t be Afraid to Fill the Freezer
Have a grocery item about to go bad? Prepare the food and freeze it! It will preserve for longer and be ready for you when you are ready for it. This is also a good idea when fixing any recipe and preparing extra to store in the freezer. Write the date on top of the storage container so you know when it was prepared and this will also help you remember which items to eat first.
- RAW, WHOLE and BULK!
When on a tight food budget, it is always worth saving pennies by buying fresh foods instead of the pre-prepared, ready-to-eat meals. Take the same ideas from your favorite frozen meal and prepare it yourself while saving a lot money! Also, buying food your family tends to eat a lot in bulk will also save you money.
- Fill your Cart with High-Nutrition, Low-Cost Foods
Instead of building most meals out of expensive meats, learn to cook with beans, lentils, eggs, peanut butter, tofu, and canned fish. These will still provide your family with adequate protein while also not eating up the bulk of your grocery budget. For grains, build most your family’s meals with things you can buy large quantities of such as oats, rice and quinoa. Potatoes should also be a grocery staple. Buying frozen fruits and vegetable that still nutrient-rich are also a good way to pinch some extra pennies instead of buying them fresh.
Make grocery shopping a fun, family task! Be creative when preparing meals and make a game out of learning how to be a more efficient and smart grocery shopper. Saving money in the grocery store will allow for more fun family activities.
20 Money-Saving Grocery Shopping Tips. Retrieved from https://www.eatright.org/food/planning-and-prep/eat-right-on-a-budget/20-money-saving-grocery-shopping-tips