When it comes to buying food on a budget, there is more you can do apart from looking for discounts on grocery coupon apps, applying for government assistance through SNAP and planning your meals ahead of time.
Remember These Final Grocery Shopping Tips
If you want to get a discount on groceries or just stick to your budget, make sure to consider these helpful tips during your next trip to the grocery store:
- Shop for the items in person. Even with all the options available today for online grocery shopping, going to the supermarket in person is still one of the cheapest ways to buy groceries. Not only do online shopping services charge for delivery, but the stores themselves often mark up the prices of items sold online. Still, if you must shop online, make sure to look for online coupons and sales to avoid paying top dollar on your items.
- Cook the food yourself. While many grocery stores sell ready-to-eat food options, you will save more money if you buy the ingredients and cook the food yourself. Yes, it takes more work and more time, but you avoid paying the marked up “convenience” pricing. Plus, if you focus on creating a few go-to recipes that you can whip up quickly, you’ll end up saving both money and time.
- Buy in bulk. Buying items in bulk is a great way to save money in the long run — that is, as long as you’re buying items that you actually plan to use. If your household eats a lot of rice, for example, then stop buying the 5-lb bags and start getting a 20-lb bag instead. You’ll pay more up front, but in the long-run, you’ll actually be saving a lot of money.
- Shop by unit price. This is similar to the previous point, but it also applies to items that do not come in bulk. In general, you should be looking at unit price rather than the regular sticker price when buying items. For example, if you’re choosing between a 12-oz jar of honey that costs $7 and a 10-oz jar of honey that costs $6.25, then whenever possible you should go with the 12-oz jar because you get more honey per ounce.
- Buy canned or frozen veggies. A lot of people are hesitant to buy canned or flash frozen foods because they think fresh produce is a lot healthier. However, this simply isn’t true. The nutritional differences between fresh vegetables and frozen or canned ones is very small, and investigations have shown that in some cases, frozen veggies may even be more nutritious than regular produce. Just stick to brands you like and you’ll be fine.