My husband was kind enough to recently share an article on money-saving ideas on groceries that still allow for good eating. With the current economic situation, and upward unemployment rates, a lot of us are finding that it’s a good time to start saving money anywhere possible. The article “More Month Than Money: Tightening Your Food Budget While Feeding Your Family Well” has some great starting points and I’ve got a few extra to add as well.
- Meal Planning– I’ve found that heading to the store with a strict list of items needed can help me avoid impulse buys and spending extra time at the store trying to figure out what I might need for the week. Planning for healthy snacks and meals can also reduce the number of meals eaten out or fast food purchased “on the go”.
- Avoid Shopping When Hungry– I’ve never seen junk food look as enticing as when I’m walking through the grocery store with my stomach growling. Things I would normally not buy- processed sugary foods, etc- seem to pull me towards them like a magnet. If I am not hungry I have a much better resistance and also seem to buy less overall.
- Make Meals from Scratch– outside of the benefit of knowing exactly what is in the food you cook, making meals from scratch can also save money in the long run. Why buy boxed mixes and things of that nature when you can whip them up in your own kitchen?
- Buy Seasonal Foods and Shop the Farmers’ Market– foods that are in season generally cost less and are the most fresh. Also, buying from farmers market often ensures that the produce is local (or at least gives you the choice) and you can search out the best prices there. I normally walk the entire stretch of the local market at least once, scoping out prices and quality, before I buy anything.
- Plant a Garden– even if you start small, a garden can help save money and be very rewarding. Planting only a few veggies and herbs (which will last all summer), can help you save money for at least those few months.
- Start Cutting Coupons– Finding out what’s on sale each week and saving coupons that you find can help you save money when you hit the store. You might even be able to find a coupon holder to help keep them well organized.
- Use Simple Ingredients– buying specialty items for only one recipe won’t be economic, but sticking to the basics that you can use over again throughout the week are a good idea.
- Buy Larger Quantities When Possible– although buying in bulk can seem expensive, it is generally more cost effective to purchase the bigger package which will last you longer and have the lower cost per unit.
If you have any other money-saving on food ideas, please feel free to share them so we can all give them a try!