10 Tips For Grocery Shopping On A Budget
If you’re hoping to tighten up your budget this year and save some cash in the long run, your weekly grocery shop is a great place to start. Shopping on a budget isn’t difficult, but it does require some planning and forethought. Follow these simple tips to get your grocery bills under control in no time.
- Shop in season. When it comes to fresh fruit and veggies, you’ll plenty of money by simply sticking with what’s in season. Although it can be tempting to buy produce that you love when not in season, the prices tend to skyrocket. Reduce your food miles and your grocery bill by going with the seasons.
- Buy in bulk. Certain food items can be far cheaper when bought in bulk. Pasta, rice, cereals, beans, flour and sugar can all be bought in larger quantities at a lower price, so stock up when you can and store your extra goods in containers to keep them fresh in the coming months.
- Make a list. Having a clear list of what you need is a great way to avoid making impulse buys and coming home with food that you don’t really need. Take the time to write a list and then try not to veer from it at all once you are in the store.
- Cook from scratch. Many of us waste a lot of money buying pre-made meals that we could easily cook ourselves. Many dishes cost very little to cook from scratch, so try to make your own as often as possible rather than throwing something in the microwave. If you’re a nervous cook or don’t know how to make a certain dish, find recipes online and start practicing! Homemade food almost always tastes better, too.
- Try out meatless Mondays. Meat can be an expensive addition to your grocery list, as well as a strain on the environment. If you’re not a vegetarian, mark one day a week where you cook meat-free dishes. Add protein-rich substitutes like beans and tofu.
- Track your spending. It’s easier to understand where money is being wasted or used wisely if you track what you’re spending. Keep an eye on your finances by saving receipts, noting down expenses or with a tracking app on your cellphone.
- Plan your meals. It’s pretty difficult to make a useful grocery shopping list if you don’t know what you’re going to eat. Plan each week ahead of time so you know exactly what you need to buy and how much it’s going to cost you.
- Eat in. The easiest way to save money on food is to eat in as much as possible. Restaurants can be extremely expensive compared to cooking at home, so track down recipes for your usual takeout meals and cook them yourself!
- Invest in storage containers. Cooking large amounts of the same meal and eating the leftovers later is a simple way to save money. It also makes family meals easier on evenings when you’re tired and don’t feel like slaving over a meal. Buy plenty of storage containers that can be filled with leftovers and placed in the freezer for another day.
- Avoid unnecessary sale items. When you spot an item on the shelf with a discounted sticker that you weren’t planning on buying, resist the urge to buy it anyway. Unless the price has been reduced to “free”, you’re still spending money that you haven’t budgeted for- if it wasn’t on your list then you probably don’t need it!