One trip to the grocery store to do the week’s shopping, and it’s clear to see inflation in action. According to the latest Consumer Price Index issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor, people are paying 7.4% more for groceries than a year ago. This represents the most significant increase since July 1981. Now is when families need to get serious about shopping smart and learn how to save money on groceries by choosing recipes that will stretch their dollars further. Here are some tips.
- Plan the meals ahead of time each week. Make a list of what meals will be made that week and a grocery list of the ingredients needed to make them. Before making the grocery list, look in the pantry and freezer to see what can be used to make meals that week.
- Use the sales flyers to help determine the weekly meals purchasing things that are on sale. Watch for special deals on items, especially meat items, that will be used that week or the next.
- Stick to the grocery list when doing the shopping. It’s easy to be enticed by all the things at the store but adding just a few of them to the cart will push the bill up past the budget.
- Download an instant rebate app, such as ibotta, and watch for items that offer an instant rebate. The funds can be transferred to a Paypal account or added to a gift card. After shopping, upload the receipt to get instant savings.
- Choose budget-friendly meals. Now is a good time to incorporate more plant-based meals in the weekly rotation because they are typically cheaper to make. Rather than opting for just Meatless Monday, include a second day that the family eats meatless each week, too.
- When shopping, be sure to check generic brands. Compare the labels to ensure that the products are similar, and the ingredients list passes the family standards, and if so, give them a try. Generic brands are often equal in taste but save money.
- Reducing food waste is an excellent way to save money, and it’s better for the planet. Purchase produce at the farmer’s market, if possible, or buy what is on sale at the store. If it’s not being used right away, wash and freeze it for future use.
- Save any dinner leftovers to eat in the next day or two or freeze them to eat at another time. If there are leftovers each night, plan one night during the week that will be a meal of using up all the leftovers.
- Consider shopping at a different store to try and save money on the weekly shopping. Doing a quick comparison of what store has the best prices in the area may save money each week.
- If bringing the kids along to shop tends to push the bill up because they ask for items not on the grocery list, consider shopping alone or trying curbside pickup. A few items per week are added by the kids as impulse purchases will add up quickly.
If you follow these tips, you will save money on groceries while still eating well