If it seems like everything is more expensive these days, that’s because it is. Gone are the days of four loaves of bread for a dollar. Meat and dairy products seem like they cost more every week. Fresh produce is so pricey that you may prefer frozen. No matter the size of your family, grocery shopping takes a large chunk of the monthly budget. They say a penny saved is a penny earned, and what better way to save than by being a smart shopper. Try these six neat tricks for saving a few bucks at the store.
1. Buy in Bulk
Bulk foods have been around forever, and smart shoppers take advantage of them. By shopping at stores with a wide selection of bulk items, you can buy the exact amount that you need at significant savings (this is especially handy with spices). Common items include rice, nuts, dried fruit, pasta, beans and all kinds of baking ingredients.
2. Favor Frozen Over Fresh
When it comes to meat, a large percentage of what you see in the fresh section has been previously frozen. However, it is priced as if it were fresh. Choose large packages of meat from the freezer instead, thaw it yourself in amounts that work for your recipe and pocket the difference.
3. Stick With the Seasons
Sure, you can buy any kind of produce year round, but only because it is imported from far, far away. Veggies that are racking up frequent flyer miles aren’t going to be cheap. Instead, choose produce that is in season locally or at least in the same hemisphere.
4. Milk It for All It’s Worth
Did you know convenience stores sell milk cheaper than grocery stores? They often price a gallon of milk low just to get you in the door. If you’re stopping for gas anyway, grab a couple gallons of moo juice, too. The savings will add up over the course of a year.
5. Make It a Solo Mission
Turn shopping into time for yourself and save money, too. The more people that tag along the more likely you are to make unnecessary purchases. Solo shoppers tend to make healthier choices, which benefits the whole family.
6. Check Yourself Out
No, not in the mirror. By using the self-checkout line you are less likely to fill the cart, and there are fewer impulse-purchase opportunities while standing in line. You’ll save money and time.
Saving money at the grocery store is a worthy goal. By using these simple techniques, you can make a difference in your food budget.