Thrifty is cool. But that’s not the only reason to economize. After the mortgage, the grocery bill is probably one of the biggest outlays budget-wise for most families. And nowadays, nearly everyone is looking to stretch their dollars. You can definitely reduce your food receipts with a little planning. It doesn’t have to be anything dramatic; just a few tweaks here and there. It doesn’t have to painful, either, or cut into health, nutrition, and taste.
Here are 10 ways to save at the supermarket:
10. Buy in bulk.
That’s the premise behind Costco, and we all know how successful that format’s been. When you buy more at once, the per-item price goes down. The good news in that department for Canadians: our new family-sized little potato bags (3-lb/1.4-kg). They come in Little Charmer Reds, Little Charmer Yellows, and Terrific Trio Variety Pack.
9. Plan ahead.
A little advance organizing can shave off dollars. Write down the week’s meals, even if it’s just a rough idea of what you will cook. Heading into the store without a strategy can result in impulse purchases and a fridge full of food that gets old faster than you can eat it. Come with a plan—and list. Buy just what’s on it. You can also pay with cash. Experts say this is an excellent way to stay within your budget.
8. Don’t go in hungry.
This is a No. 1 no-no. You don’t want to show up at Safeway as your stomach is calling out for lunch or dinner. It’s only human nature to grab more when you’re famished. Eat first, then shop. You’ll be surprised how much you save!
7. Raid the pantry.
Don’t know about you, but we have so much more than we could possibly ever eat in our cupboard. Set aside some time to rifle through those cans of beans and pasta packs. Analyze your freezer contents, too. Then commit to eating some of it each week. Sure, it’s smart to have some extras, but there’s no need to have enough stashed to feed the whole neighborhood during a power outage.
6. Love leftovers.
Does your husband hate leftovers? Just disguise them. It’s amazing how much mileage you can get from those bread loaf heels, celery clippings, and extra rice. Assess what’s left and get creative. See what kind of a meal you can build with what you’ve got on hand.
5. Buy whole foods.
Prepackaged stuff is nice and convenient. But it’s also much more expensive. Buy a bag of Creamers versus those prepared deli scalloped potatoes. Pick up a cabbage head and bunch of carrots instead of the bagged coleslaw mix. It takes more time but is easier on the pocketbook.
4. Keep it simple.
Elaborate is fun, but save it for the family get-together or special party. During the week, make straightforward meals with just a few ingredients that are easy to prepare and don’t require loads of expensive or unusual ingredients you’ll never use again. Here’s an idea: a grilled steak, salmon fillet or tofu burger, sautéed green beans or broccoli and our Microwave Ready Creamers: in Garlic Parsley, Savory Herb and Three Cheese—ready in five minutes.
3. Don’t buy exotic.
Let’s face it, apples from New Zealand probably cost more than the apples from down the road. If you live in Minneapolis, pineapple from Hawaii is likely more than corn from the Midwest. Look at the prices and where the food says it came from. In most instances, the local option will be much more affordable—not to mention tastier—because it didn’t have to travel so far.
2. Eat seasonally.
Similar to No. 3 (above), eating what’s fresh now is not only cheaper because that fruit/veg is plentiful at its harvest time, but is more nutritious and much more flavorful. Ever tried a tomato in December versus one in August? Case closed. And, eat more of that produce. My Money Coach says you can save 25%—and even lose weight—buy upping your intake of fresh veggies and fruit for meals and snacks.
1. Eat Little Potatoes!
Low-cal, high-nutrition Creamers fill you up, thanks to their fiber (good-carb) content. So you can eat fewer and feel fuller. Plus they’re super healthy, packed with iron, potassium and vitamin C—a perfect side to any entrée or meal on their own.
WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS AND TRICKS FOR SAVING AT THE STORE? WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
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