By: Jolie Watson

Do you ever find yourself at the grocery store getting a few items, and at check-out, you’re completely blindsided by the price? No worries! Here are 5 easy ways to stretch your dollar on a budget while grocery shopping:

  1. Buy Sales Items in Bulk

If there is a sale for items you use regularly in your household, it’s probably a good idea to stock up on a couple more so you can save some money. Usually, it would be ideal to choose items that are canned or frozen, not fresh. However, if you have a set plan on how to make use of the perishable items, it would certainly be a good idea to take advantage of the deal.  On the other hand, don’t just buy items because they’re on sale. Really make a conscious effort to only buy things you actually need/use regularly, otherwise, you’re only hurting your wallet!


  1. Try Batch Cooking

Batch cooking is cooking a meal in large quantities and freezing the remaining portions for a later time.  This is a great option to avoid spending more money and having leftover options on the weekends. It also saves you time when preparing meals, all you need to do is simply reheat and enjoy!


  1. Purchase Canned/Frozen Foods Over Fresh

Not only are canned and frozen produce less expensive, they have a higher nutrient content because they are preserved at the peak of freshness. These are items that are advantageous to buy in bulk due to their long shelf life and are regularly on sale.  One thing to look out for are options that say “reduced sodium” or “no salt added.” Canned goods usually have a high sodium content, so choosing the lower content brands are beneficial to your health!


  1. Switch Grocery Stores

How much you spend on groceries greatly depends on where you are shopping.  Stores such as Aldi and Payless typically offer lower prices for the same items you buy at more expensive markets like Whole Foods and Target. Don’t be afraid to try private label versions of packaged groceries. These usually provide better value despite the unfamiliar brand name. Take advantage of local farmer’s markets which usually offer even better deals on fresh produce options!


  1. Utilize Coupons and Loyalty Programs

Did you know that you could be missing out on huge saving opportunities by not signing up for grocery store loyalty programs? In some cases, sale prices are only authorized if you use the stores loyalty card, so sign up if you haven’t already! Take a second to skim your local newspaper for coupons or upcoming sales that involve items you regularly buy or ask an employee for their weekly store circular for the latest sales and vouchers.