Times are tough, and making sure you and your loved ones are fed is no exception. Shopping for cheap groceries isn’t always an easy task. There are ways to make it easier to get the food you need at a lower price, though.
Frugal grocery shopping takes practice. However, once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to find cheap groceries wherever you go.
You worked hard for your money, and you deserve to save some of it. Here are 10 frugal grocery shopping tips to help you continue to save.
1. Plan Ahead for Meals
When you plan ahead for meals, cheap grocery shopping is inevitable.
Before you go grocery shopping, take inventory of the ingredients you already have around your house. You may have enough to make a meal or two. Even if you don’t, you can make your grocery list based on the ingredients you need to make other meals.
2. No More Frozen Meals
This might sound counterintuitive since frozen meals are convenient, but taking frozen meals off of your grocery list will save you money in the long run.
Many of these frozen meals are costly. It’s better to stock up ingredients for meal prep instead of relying on frozen or pre-prepared meals.
You can buy frozen fruits and veggies since they usually come in bulk and contribute to your needed ingredients for meal prep. Avoid the individualized frozen meals, though.
3. Look to the Sales
Knowing what’s on sale will help you with how to buy cheap groceries. The sales are usually published in a newspaper or even on a grocery store’s website.
Sometimes sales are due to coupons. While couponing is helpful, it is time-consuming to sift through coupon catalogs to see what deals are being had. Still, it is an effective means to help you with frugal grocery shopping.
If your grocery store offers a rewards program, where you can build up points to get savings, sign up for that too!
4. Stock up When It’s On Sale
Sort of like the previous point, you’ll want to stock up on food that’s on sale. It won’t be on sale forever, but you can buy enough when it is to try and make it last until the next time that item is on sale.
This Dollar General penny list will help you out with buying in bulk too!
5. Bulk Buying
Another way to help you achieve affordable grocery shopping is to shop in bulk. Buying ingredients or food in bulk means you will have those ingredients around for a while. You may end up saving quite a bit of money on your next few grocery trips too.
It is important not to let the food in bulk go to waste. Freeze food where you can or store it in a safe pantry, unopened until you need to use it.
Also, do you like to make the occasional pancakes, cookies, or brownies? The pre-packaged baking mixes you might buy aren’t worth your money either. You’ll save loads of cash if you buy in bulk what those pre-packaged baking mixes are made of sugar, flour, baking powder, and more.
6. Buy in Season
If some fruits and vegetables are in season, they will be cheaper than when they are out of season. Buy those fruits and veggies then for your planned meals to help keep costs down as well.
Buying seasonal produce helps enrich your diet and get the most out of your money. Frugal grocery shopping is about smart planning, so knowing when certain produce is in season will help you save more.
7. Store Brand, Not on Brand
One of the easiest ways to get cheap groceries is to buy the store brand, not on brand stuff. On brand is always more expensive.
In the end, there is (more often than not) very little difference between the store brand food products and the on-brand ones, especially if you’re buying ingredients to use for cooked meals. Make an easy save on your next grocery run by buying the store brand.
8. Reconsider the Meat
You don’t need to forgo meat, but you do need to consider the expense of meat. Meat can get expensive, but there are ways to affordable grocery shopping for meat.
Make sure you’re getting the most for your money by buying meat that is leaner and has less fat in it. While the fatty part of meat can make it taste good, it’s also not always consumable or nutritionally sound. Sticking with lean meats means you’ll get more meat for your buck.
Meat that is 95% meat with 5% fat gives you more than something that is only 80% meat and 20% fat. Pick the cheaper and more nutritious option!
9. No Individual Meals or Snacks
You don’t need to buy individually wrapped snacks or meals. It is hard to cook for one or to provide snacks in bulk to others, but you’ll save money by doing so.
Think about what makes up easy snack mixes like trail mix. You can buy nuts, candies, pretzels, and more in larger sizes and create your own baggies of snacks.
The same goes for meals. This is why planning for meals in advance is so important: you may end up using one recipe to last a few meals’ worth!
10. Use an App for Groceries
Living in a technological world has its perks, and one of those is the different kinds of apps you can use, like a grocery shopping app. Sometimes using an app will help you with frugal grocery shopping by alerting you to discounts and sales.
There are many to choose from, so poke around your phone’s app store to get you started on that.
Frugal Grocery Shopping Is Worth It
If you’re struggling with the increasing expense of groceries, using any of these ten tips above will help you save a little more. Once you start frugal grocery shopping, you won’t be able to turn back.
For more tips to make everyday life easier, check out the rest of our website!