Healthy Eating

24 Savvy Tips To Budget Food Costs Now

grocery store

 

24 Supermarket Savvy Shopping Tips

Shop ’til you drop is what I always say.  Grocery shopping is no exception to this rule. Foods shopping can get costly.  These 24 food shopping tips can help you stay within a food budget.

  1. Familiarize yourself with your food store(s).

Be loyal to any store that provides the best deal. Each local supermarket has their own special deals. Consider browsing the aisles in different grocery stores instead of just one store.

  • There are foods that may be less expensive in certain stores all the time.
  • Do they offer store or double coupons?
  • Are there coupons online?
  1. Get to know your store managers.

The meat department may have weekly “managers specials”. The bakery department is more likely to mark things down at the end of the day. The same is true for the fruit and vegetable department.  The store staff can help you too; just ask what days are best to shop and save the most.

  1. Circulars provide a snapshot of what’s on sale.

Browse the circular for sales, then build a shopping list.  stick to the list.

  1. Buy low.

When prices are low buying enough frozen foods or non-perishable items to allow them to last until the next sale price in order to avoid ever paying full price.

  1. Coupons, coupons, and more coupons.

If you do it right, the store pays you to take their groceries. The coupon project is a great resource, http://thecouponproject.com/2011/04/how-to-use-coupons-secrets.html. If you are lucky, some stores except their competitors’ coupons.

  1. Paper goods, non-perishables or toiletries may be best purchased at the “big” stores.

Spend less and get more at Target, BJs, Costco or Walmart.

  1. Don’t waste meat.

Broth or soup can be made from chicken and other meats, giving you two meals from one.

  1. Do-it-yourself.

When you slice, dice and cut your own food, you save labor and preparation costs.

  1. Before cooking more, eat the leftovers.

 It is a big waste of money if you have to throw out moldy fruits and veggies or any meal. Try scheduling a day for eating what’s in the fridge before reloading the fridge with more food.

  1. Shop in your own pantry, it’s free.

Use up the food on the shelves before buying more.

  1. Being hungry when food shopping is never a good experience.

Eat before you shop, otherwise, it is more likely you will buy more food.

  1. Stay strong when walking the aisles.

Stores are in business to entice you to spend money. food products are strategically organized so that you have to walk through the aisles of “extras” to get to the food staples like meat, and milk. Keep your blinders on and move fast, try not to fall into this trap.

  1. If you do walk down the wrong aisle at the wrong time, be smart.

Buying a “2 for $5 deal” is no deal because half the bag you are paying for is air. So, it’s really a $5 for 1 bag, NOT a good deal!

  1. Just say NO! Try not to bring kids.

If you bring kids with you, your food bill will escalate in the blink of an eye. Maybe just leave children at home. Or, agree on what they can buy before you go shopping and make it a learning experience.

  1. Reading the tabloids can be a hazard to your wallet.

Keeping an eye on your goods as they travel down the conveyor belt. If you are reading the tabloids, you are missing a chance to catch the food stores pricing mistakes (either mislabeled or cashier key-in ). I catch a few almost every week.

  1. Got a calculator?

Check the unit prices. Compare these prices with sales or coupon items. The unit price may be less than the sale price on a more expensive item.

  1. Generic brands are more affordable and do not necessarily translate into less quality or less taste.

Do a taste test, once you take the food out of the can, many times it’s all the same.

  1. Be alert!

Higher priced items on sale may be less expensive or the same price as a generic brand.

  1. Bigger is not always better.

Sometimes small sizes that are on sale will yield more in total quantity and still be cheaper when on sale.

  1.  Before you make your final choice scan the shelves.

Lower cost items are usually placed on higher or lower shelves. More expensive items are conveniently placed right at eye level.

  1. Grow your own garden.

Garden fresh food is better quality and less expensive than buying produce from any store.

  1. Select Frozen fruits and veggies.

Frozen foods can cost less and are just as nutritious.

23. Look for seasonal and holiday deals.

There are holidays each month. Prices are slashed for  New Years’ Day, July 4th,  Halloween or Valentine’s Day. Turkey, stuffing, and cranberries are cheap after Thanksgiving. It is the perfect time to buy decorating kits for Easter after the holiday and use it for the following year.

24. Read labels and stick to eating recommended portion sizes.

Control the bill and your waistline by sticking to recommended portion sizes.

 

These are 24 of my suggestions. How do you manage your food bill?

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About the author

Valerie Goldstein

Valerie raises the bar for health and nutrition know how with unconventional expertise and unconditional support for wellness.

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