Make Delicious Healthy Food For Less Than You Think.
For most families, the grocery bill is one of their largest monthly expenditures. Unlike most large monthly budget items, the grocery bill contains hundreds of small purchases for each of the items you buy at the grocery store each month. Saving money on some of those items, even if the savings per item is small, can add up to tidy savings each and every month.
If you have been buying food and eating in the last few years, you know that the cost of groceries has gone way up. No matter the cost, we all want to feed our families and ourselves with high-quality healthy food. We are what we eat after all!
The good news is that saving money on your groceries doesn’t have to mean compromising when it comes to quality or nutrition. You may find as you take stock of your grocery purchases and make careful choices that the quality of your meals actually goes up!
Here is an informative look at how to get the most when it comes to quality and price on produce and a helpful guide discussing when to buy generic and when it’s best to stick with name brands.
Purchase In-Season Produce
One way to stay healthy is by eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, fresh produce can be expensive. To keep the costs down on your produce purchases, try to stick to fruits and vegetables that are in season.
For example, pears are in season during November and December and are less expensive during those months than they are throughout the rest of the year. Therefore, pears make great Thanksgiving and homemade Christmas decorations as well as delicious, affordable staples in your holiday meals.
Consider Buying Generic Items
When it comes to store brand vs. name brand, I tend to buy generics when there is an item I need, but I do not possess a coupon for the brand name version. In many cases, there are very few differences between most brand name items and generic items, and to be honest, I have found some generic products that I prefer to the brand name, such as cookies, peanut butter, and even cola. Remember, some stores do not offer many generic alternatives to name brands. You may want to stick to stores that stock many store-brand products.
However, you really have to know when it’s worth choosing generic over name brand. Some products from the generic lines go head to head with name brands in terms of quality, while other products are sub par at best. If you buy poor quality products, you may end up tossing them out and wasting the money altogether.Here’s a rundown of what to buy, and what to avoid, when it comes to generic brand products:
What to Buy from Generic Brands:
- Food Staples. Your basics like flour, sugar, cooking oil, and butter will always taste, and work, the same regardless of what the label says.
- Canned Produce. Any basic canned fruit or vegetable will taste the same in a generic brand can. However, you may want to stick to the name brands when buying the fancy mixed fruit cocktails – the generic brands never give you enough cherries.
- Frozen Produce. Name brand frozen produce typically costs twice as much as the generic version, and the store brand often gives you more per bag.
What to Buy from Name Brands:
- Meat. I’ll skip my slimy chicken story and just tell you this: If you’re a stickler for the quality of your meat, you won’t be happy with the generic brand. This goes for everything from t-bone steaks to frozen chicken strips.
- Paper Products. Generic brand paper towels and toilet paper do not hold up as well as the name brands. You end up using twice as much for the same effect, which does not save you any money in the long run.
– via www.moneycrashers.com
Saving Money With The Proper Shopping Plan
In a previous post, we saw how taking an inventory of your pantry so you can use what you have and planning your meals can make a big difference in your grocery budget.
Today we are looking at a different type of planning. We’ll see how creating a grocery budget will help you save and how several other types of specific planning techniques will put a lid on your grocery bill and put money in your pocket!
Create a Grocery Budget
The first step to saving money on food is to think like a Boy Scout (i.e. “Be Prepared”). Setting up a monthly or weekly grocery budget will help you stay on track and keep your spending in check.
Want proof? One woman managed to get by on a mere $4 a day, while another feeds her family of five for only $64 a week. They manage these feats by knowing how much they intend to spend before they ever set foot in a store and developing clever ways to make their goals happen.
Get Cash Back
Saving money on your groceries is one strategy, but you can also make money for the food you buy. Apps like Ibotta, Nielsen Consumer Panel and Checkout 51 will give you cash back for the things you’d purchase anyway.
When you can find an item for a great deal and you know that a) you’ll use in the future and b) it won’t expire for a long time, stock up on it.
Set up some shelves in your basement to keep overflow items in a cool place. An extra freezer can help you stockpile frozen food (and enable you to save more leftovers, big-batch meals and in-season produce).
Know the Tricks of the Trade
Grocery stores want you to spend as much money as possible, so learning the strategies they use to compel you to do this can help you stick to your list — and your budget.
For instance, stores like to lure you into purchasing more than you intend by placing more expensive items at eye level, using end caps to grab your attention and placing staples like milk, eggs, bread and milk at the back of the store so you’re forced to pass through several aisles to get to them.
Store Your Food Properly
How and where you store your food plays a big role in how long it will last (and still taste yummy). Check out sites like StillTasty to find out the best way to store your food and learn which zones in your fridge and freezer are best for keeping which items.
– via The Penny Hoarder
Do you have special savings techniques for your grocery shopping?