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Last Updated on February 15, 2021
There are a number of ways to save money. Cutting back on unnecessary expenses, prioritizing expenses, and developing a budget are all great ways to save money and meet your long-term financial goals. Expenses that can add up include insurance, food, debt payments, and recurring bills like a mortgage, rent, or utilities.
Costs for home, auto, health, and life insurance can be a large part of your overall budget. One way to save money on insurance costs is to optimize savings like bundling car and home insurance. Bundling insurance can result in discounts and reduce premium payments.
Another way to save money is at the grocery store or supermarket. There are simple steps that you can take to save money on your food budget. Eating out less and cooking at home more in one simple way to save money on food. Here are 10 more tips for saving money at the grocery store.
#1 – Plan Your Meals
One great way to save money at the grocery store is to plan your weekly meals around the sale items. The store advertisements will include the weekly sale items, including items you can use as the main ingredient for meals. Planning ahead is one great tip to eat healthier all year long.
For example, if chicken breasts are on sale this week, you can plan a few meals for the week with chicken as the main ingredient. To save time, you could even cook the chicken once and just reheat and season it for different meals. You could use the chicken to make tacos, barbequed chicken, and chicken soup for a variety of meals.
Some people find success in meal prepping on the weekends. You can cut up vegetables, cook grains, prepare meat, and then package meals for lunch and dinner for a few days. This is a great way to save time and money, especially since eating out is costly.
#2 – Make a List
After reviewing the grocery store weekly ads and reviewing what items you are out of from your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator, it’s time to make a list. You can organize your list by food groups or by the layout of the store.
When shopping, try to stick to your list unless you find items that are a good value. Sticking to your list helps save money and cut down on the time you spend at the store. The more time you spend at the store, the more money you are likely to spend there.
#3 – Try Frozen Fruits and Veggies
Frozen fruits and vegetables are a great option when the fresh produce is costly, out-of-season, or when options are limited. Frozen produce is usually priced reasonably and is often on sale, which is the perfect time to stock up.
Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as healthy, if not more healthy, than fresh fruits and vegetables. They are frozen at peak quality so they retain a high amount of nutrients.
These frozen options are also convenient because there is no washing, peeling, or cutting. You can use a little or a lot of the item, and they do not go bad as fast as fresh produce. Frozen fruits are great in oatmeal and smoothies, and frozen vegetables are a quick and tasty side dish.
#4 – Stock up on Cheap Essentials
Some foods are easy to stock up on when they are on sale and can make meals healthy and convenient. Canned, dried, boxed, or frozen options have a long shelf time and are great to keep on hand for a quick and healthy meal.
Canned tuna, dried beans, canned beans, eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, quinoa, brown rice, frozen vegetables, and canned vegetables are thrifty and healthy options. Keep these in your pantry, refrigerator, or freezer to put together a quick and healthy meal.
#5 – Try Meatless Meals
Meat can be one of the costliest items in our food budget. Protein is an important nutrient, but meat is just one source of protein. Other options that have protein include dairy products, beans, nuts, seeds, seafood, fish, tofu, tempeh, edamame, whole grains, and eggs.
Inexpensive protein options include canned tuna, beans, quinoa, edamame, yogurt, cottage cheese, and eggs. Less costly vegetarian and vegan options include beans, nuts, seeds, quinoa, edamame, tempeh, and tofu. Tofu, edamame, and tempeh are soy-based products that provide protein without the cost of meat.
#6 – Cut Back on Processed Foods
Processed and packaged foods can be convenient and may seem inexpensive, but they have very few nutrients for good health. The problem with these items is they are usually lacking in fiber and protein, which are great for keeping us full.
Replace packaged and processed foods with fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, yogurt, or whole grains. These options will give your fiber, protein, and many vitamins and minerals. The nutrients will help keep you full longer and provide you with many health benefits.
#7 – Avoid Shopping When Hungry
We can probably all remember a supermarket trip when we were hungry. Shopping while hungry can cause you to purchase items you may not otherwise purchase. You might be tempted to load up on unhealthy snacks and convenience foods.
One great way to avoid this is to eat a snack or meal before heading to the grocery store. Try to avoid impulse purchases and stick to your list.
#8 – Buy in Bulk When it Makes Sense
Buying in bulk can help save money if the items will be used before they go bad. Items like toilet paper, paper towels, and cleaning supplies may make sense to buy in bulk.
You can buy apples, onions, and potatoes in bulk if you will use them before you have to throw them away. If you find yourself throwing out items often, it would be better to buy a smaller amount of that item.
#9 – Pay Attention to the Unit Price
The unit price is a price per amount for each product. You can find it on the small tag found on the supermarket shelf. It may be in cents per ounce or pound, like 9 cents per ounce. This is a great way to compare similar items of different sizes or similar items of different brands.
Many of us ignore the unit price and just focus on the total price, but this is a great tool for comparison. For example, you might find whole-grain pasta in many different sizes and want to find the most inexpensive option. The unit price will break it down, and you can find the option that is the most budget-friendly option.
#10 – Take Advantage of Rewards Programs
Many grocery stores have customer loyalty or reward programs, just like you can get rewards and discounts from car insurance companies. Many are free and just require a quick registration.
Some may provide sales or discounts that are only available for members of the rewards programs. Others may allow for points that can be redeemed in the future for cash off groceries or gas.
Save Money and Eat Healthy
These tips can also help prevent food waste, which is another way to save money. You can make your groceries last as long as possible with a few simple changes. These tips give you a number of options to save money at the grocery store and eat healthy all year long.
Melissa Morris writes and researches for the car insurance comparison site, CarInsuranceComparison.com. She has a master of science in exercise science, is an ACSM certified exercise physiologist, and an ISSN certified sports nutritionist.