10 Ways To Save BIG on Your Groceries!
Grocery prices are on the rise everywhere these days. I have a big family in one of the most expensive parts of America. As such, I've learned a thing or two over the years about grocery shopping. I hope what I share blesses you so you can save too!
1. Shop around
My first tip is to shop around. Many of us are guilty of only shopping at a few stores because it is more convenient. Life gets busy and we are often short on time. However, if we take the time to shop at different stores we can save a huge amount of money. Even with a little extra gas money to get to each store. I like to shop local farmer's markets and health food stores for great deals on organic, GMO-free food. Even though this all takes a little bit of extra time, I promise you that the savings will make it worth it!
Every area is different in terms of what stores are around you for shopping. I understand that when you live in a city, there are more store options than out in a rural setting. No matter where you live, put in the extra time to get to know product prices at your various local stores. Once you have that all mapped out, take the time to shop multiple stores for the best deals. Look for each store's loss leaders- the big sales to get people in the door with the hopes they spend more money. Take advantage of them at multiple places.
2. Avoid Convenience Foods
I've learned that there is a big price difference in pre-packaged food and whole food prices. Learn to cook your meals from scratch. Chop your own salads instead of buying a salad mix. Slice up your own fruit. Dice or shred your own vegetables. Pre-packaged fruits and veggies cost so much more and tend to not last as long. Marinate your own protein. For example, marinated tempeh costs triple the amount of the plain kind. Instead of buying pre-packaged snack bags, divide up and make your own snack bags. Investing this extra time saves big at the grocery store.
3. Buy In Bulk
Buying in bulk is usually cheaper than buying smaller quantities. Buying in bulk results in less trips to the store, saving both gas and time. Some health food stores will have bulk bin areas that have amazing savings. If you have a Sprouts Farmer's Market near you, they have great deals on bulk healthy food. I buy in bulk at a few local health food stores. Shop around and compare bulk prices.
4. Choose Generic
If you choose quality generic items over brand label products, you will see major savings on your grocery bill. Some stores even have their own generic private labels where you will see even bigger savings. I like the private label generics at Trader Joe's as well as at Aldi. With quality generics you will find organic, GMO-free, healthy products for a fraction of name brand label competitors. Remember, generic products are usually manufactured at the same location as the name brand ones. They are frequently repackaged name brand products with a different label. Give generic products a try!
If you're eating any sort of plant-based diet, you may already know this tip. If you do eat meat frequently, why not try switching to a couple plant-based meals a week? There are TONS of easy swaps for meat in your meals including hearty beans, cauliflower, mushrooms, jackfruit, organic vegetable proteins and more. You will notice a big drop in your grocery bill.
6. Buy In Season
Buying fruit and vegetables that are in season saves you a substantial amount of money. Purchasing produce when it is at it's supply peak is more cost effective for the producers and distributors. They then pass the savings on to you. In my opinion, buying produce in season tastes better. It is also better for the planet as seasonal produce tends to be sold from more local sources. That means less cost to getting the produce to you!
7. Eat First
Don't go shopping when you are hungry. If you shop while hungry, you will be more tempted to buy things that you don't need. I like to have a small snack before I go grocery shopping. That way I'm not tempted to impulse buy due to hunger. This is a simple concept but trust me, it does make a difference!
8. Meal Plan
Meal planning will save you a huge amount at the grocery store. Plan out all of your breakfasts, lunches and dinners each week. Buy ingredients that can be used for multiple meals whenever possible. When meal planning, shop your home before you shop at the store. As in, check your pantry, freezer and refrigerator for items you already have. Incorporate these items into your meal planning so nothing goes to waste. Then come to the store armed with a grocery list based on that plan. It will save you money because you know exactly what to buy. Sticking to your grocery list will remove the temptation to add more items to your cart. You will be buying with intention. Buying with intention will also reduce the amount of food waste as well.
9. Shop Alone
Shop alone when you can. When you shop alone, you will have more time to price compare. You will be able to shop from your list without others wanting you to add more. Now as a stay-at-home mom with many children, I understand shopping alone is not always possible. If you can't shop alone, teach your little ones to help you with your list. Let them know that you are only buying from the list, no impulse buys. Involve them in helping you find the items at the store and make it fun for them. I also keep extra snacks in my purse for them in case they get hungry while out shopping. It's good to be prepared!
I am thankful each and every time I grocery shop. When I am checking out, I say a silent prayer thanking God for the blessing of being able to have all this food. Many people take buying groceries for granted. I know what a privilege it is to have a cart full of food and not have to worry about paying for it. I know that food scarcity is a real problem that we need to work to eradicate in the lives of others. I know people go through tough times. I do not take the ability to have food for granted. I feel grateful and abundant with everything we have- including groceries. The next time you purchase your groceries, take a moment to feel gratitude for what you've bought.
Hope you enjoyed these money-saving tips. Happy shopping!