Chances are that, like most people in the past few years, you’ve found yourself staring down a total cost on a grocery store receipt in pure shock. How could you have spent so much money on groceries in one trip? Isn’t this the same food you always buy? How did you wind up paying so much more this time than you did a year ago, or three years ago, for basically the same items?
While the base cost of food products have finally begun to plateau in recent months, the costs of groceries you buy each week haven’t done the same. So while price hikes have slowed, we’re all still hurting a at the checkout counter. Inflation relief payments from 19 states have helped some individuals but many are still struggling.
Thankfully, lots of strategies can help you trim your grocery bill without sacrificing the quality and variety of your snacks, meals, and drinks. Below, explore a few practical ideas to save money on food and make your entire grocery-shopping experience easier on your wallet and a little less terrifying at the checkout counter.
Plan and Prepare
As with most things in life, a little advance planning can go a long way towards improving your grocery shopping expenses. Take a measured approach that focuses on preparation and meal planning in order to keep your costs down. The following four strategies will help.
1. Make a meal plan
Meal planning helps reduce costs and food waste, and can help simplify home life in the process by reducing decision-making and uncertainty when it comes to food preparation. Strategically choosing your meals for the week ahead, with an eye towards the most efficient use of ingredients to minimize waste, helps you make the most of your food budget. For example, you can extend the life of the chicken parts you buy for chicken salad by using an entire chicken and then using the remaining meat and bones for a chicken soup.
There are lots of resources available online to help improve your meal planning and save time too. However, the basic process is fairly straightforward. Start by selecting meals for the week ahead, with an eye towards your family’s dietary preferences and needs. Give yourself plenty of time to evaluate your options, choose meals…