Grocery shopping can be expensive, especially when you’re trying to eat healthy. With the economy the way it has been for quite a few years now, many of us find ourselves struggling to make ends meet while food prices continue to rise. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to save money on your grocery bill without having to turn to cheap junk foods.
Making a list before you head out to the grocery store can not only help you save on your total grocery tab, it also helps to prevent you from buying food and other things you don’t need, as well as saving time and money on gas. By planning for meals ahead of time and shopping for just what you need to make them, you’ll make fewer trips to the store and won’t waste your hard earned cash on non-essentials.
Bring a calculator
It’s not always easy doing all those calculations in your head, particularly under those bright lights among numerous other shoppers, which means it can be hard to tell which item is really the best deal. Bringing a calculator (you may even have one on your smartphone) can make figuring out the actual cost for each item a lot easier.
Look for the brand and size of a particular product with the lowest per-unit cost to get more for your money, while avoiding those that contain unwanted ingredients, like added sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Making sure that you aren’t compromising your health with the food you buy is key.
Often you’ll find that the less processed a food is, the cheaper it is per serving. For example, apples frequently cost less than applesauce or apple juice. Whole grains, like brown rice, are cheaper and healthier than a processed cereal.
Purchase items in bulk
Bulk or “bag and weigh” items have long been a staple in natural food stores, but they can also be found in more traditional grocery stores. Buying products like beans, rice, flour, nuts and dried fruit in bulk usually costs less than the prepackaged versions of the same foods, but make sure to check just in case; at times you can get much better deals on a packaged version of a bulk product.
Grow your own food
Buying vegetable, fruit and herb plants costs very little, and the seeds are even cheaper. It’s easier than you might think to grow your own food. Even if you don’t have a backyard, or space in your backyard, it’s easy to grow them in containers on a patio or balcony with very little effort. Not only will it save you a lot of money, they taste a lot better than those you buy at the store.
Doing as much cooking and preparation as you can ahead of time can help you save a lot on groceries, as well as reducing the amount you spend eating out. When making a meal, make extra and save some for lunch. Or, you can make a casserole, soups or stews with enough to provide a number of meals for the week. Packing your lunch for work as well as snacks is usually much less expensive and healthier than eating out.
By making just a little effort, you really can save a lot!
-The Alternative Daily