If you spend any time analyzing your spending, you’ll probably see a large portion of your money going towards groceries. With a little effort, you can reduce the impact groceries have on your wallet.
1. Plan Your Meals
Create a menu for the week prior to going to the grocery store. Having a list will ensure you’re only getting the items you need – just don’t cave and get extra snacks!
2. Check Out Discount Grocery Stores
Instead of automatically heading to your usual chain, figure out what discount options are in your area. Chains like Aldi often have much lower prices for the same quality food. You’ll just need to bring your own bags and put a quarter in for a security deposit on your shopping cart.
3. Purchase Frozen Produce
Off-season fresh produce is very expensive. Instead of accepting the higher costs, head to the freezer aisle. Chances are you’ll never notice if you’re using frozen fruits or veggies in your recipes.
4. Create Your Own Snacks
Instead of buying overpriced snack food, make your own. You can roast chickpeas, make healthy protein balls or cookies, or create your own dip. If you want to buy ready-to-eat foods, stick with nuts, raisins and other whole foods.
5. Utilize Leftovers
Don’t let any leftovers go to waste! Meat can be used in sandwiches and casseroles to extend their use without you getting sick of them.
6. Keep Cheap Staples on Hand
Rice, beans and potatoes are cheap items to have on hand that can be used in a variety of filling recipes.
7. Look for Alternatives for Expensive Items
Some recipes call for expensive ingredients, but you can always substitute. Do a quick Google search of that ingredient to see what others out there suggest.
8. Set a Budget and Shop with Cash
Once you apply these tips to your routine, keep track of what your monthly grocery average is and set a firm budget. Take cash to the grocery store to avoid any impulse buys.