In this economy, saving money is often important. You may simply need to cut corners, you may be trying to save your money for something more important, or any number of other reasons. There are lots of ways to do that, including some great ways to save money on groceries. People often take their necessities for granted, and simply assume that they can’t save in those areas, but that’s not true at all – as you shall see!
1. Saving the Cheese
So, I have this pet peeve. Cheese is expensive! It’s also well loved. Just in my household, the Better Half likes a variety of cheeses, and I’m a huge fan of brie. However, cheese is one of those foods prone to drying out rather quickly. To save money and keep it fresh, you can evidently spread margarine or butter over it, which causes the cheese to keep its moisture.
2. Always Use a Calculator
It may seem tedious, but it’s always best to use a calculator while you’re shopping. It helps if you want to follow a budget, so you can keep an eye on how much you’re spending, but calculators can save money on groceries in other ways as well. For instance, you can use it to check out the price for each unit of your items. You may find that you can get more for less in terms of other brands and different sizes.
3. Don’t Shop Hungry
Oh man, I do this all the time. The BH and I like to shop together, which typically has to be done in the evenings if we can’t make it to the weekend. We’ll go before we eat dinner, and it’s an absolute disaster. Really, it’s heartbreaking! We get so much stuff we don’t need, because it looks good at the time. With all those bright colors and promising temptations, it’s easy for your eyes to be bigger than your stomach as well as your wallet when you’re at the store, under any circumstances. Do yourself a favor and don’t go when you’re having some kind of craving!
4. Skip the Name Brands
As I think I’ve shared before, there are some things I just cannot buy off-brand. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I just can’t. This typically applies to cereal, and I can live with that. With more expensive items, I’m more than happy to skip the name brand products. This is an excellent way to save money on groceries, because honestly, there’s no sense paying for a label or a bland if something else is just as good.
5. Avoid the Gimmicks
This is something I’ve learned only since I really got interested in being the resident cook in my family: most items are marketed toward convenience. Honestly, Julia Child is who ultimately taught me this. It won’t work for everything because sometimes you really need something convenient, but in many instances, you can save a lot by not falling for the quick fixes. For instance, it can cost more to buy a seasoned chicken or a cake than it will take for you to make it yourself. You can do wonders with chicken yourself, with the right recipe, and that’s just the beginning of how you can save with this method.
6. Cans Are Okay
Some people are really reticent of eating out of cans. To an extent, I can understand this. When I was a kid, my babysitter discovered something perfectly normal but still disgusting out of a can of corn that ruined me for life. However, that’s just me, and there’s plenty of other things I don’t mind buying in cans as long as it will still taste good while saving me money. Green beans, pie mixes, and even things like fish – tuna, salmon, and so on – are all fine in my book. Soups are too, and the BH loves some Spaghetti-O’s.
7. Bulk Buy
One of the best ways to save money on groceries actually involves buying more. In the long run, some things are much less expensive in bulk. Paper goods, rice, sugar, flour, pasta, and things of that nature, are all expensive – but they’re often given the best sales, too. Those are things you can buy in bulk without a care.
8. Get a Discount
The discount bin at any store often has lots of treasures. The local grocery store in my parents’ small town had my exact brand of hair dye on sale for $2.00! I don’t currently need to touch up the roots or anything, but I bought it up anyway, because it was at least four times cheaper than it usually is! There are also great foodstuffs to be found in the discount bins.
9. Choose Your Vegetation Wisely
Finally, you can save a lot by carefully picking fruit and vegetables. Fresh vegetation is delicious, whether you’re talking about ripe peaches or fresh asparagus. However, when you want to buy fresh fruits and veggies out of their growing season, you end up paying a lot. You can save by limiting yourself to items that are in season – or check for a frozen version.
There are a number of other ways to save money on groceries, from coupon clipping to changing your shopping habits. You’d be surprised at how much you can actually keep back. How do you save when you shop?
Top Photo Credit: sopheava