By planning ahead and shopping smart, you can get the most out of your food budget.
Tips for Grocery Shopping on a Budget
Save a list of recipes to try
Keep a list of healthy, low-cost recipes that you'd like to try. Save it somewhere convenient, such as the notes app on your phone.
See what you already have in your pantry, freezer, and fridge before buying anything new. Plan your meals around these ingredients, using the oldest or perishable items first, to avoid food waste.
Plan your meals
Before heading to the store, plan out your meals for the week. Plan to make double or triple batches of things like soups, stir-fries and casseroles so that you have leftovers to last a few days.
Check weekly sales flyers and online for sales and coupons. Discount and cash back apps can also help you save. Check to see if your grocery store has its own app.
Make a list and stick to it
Make a shopping list based on your meal plan and items on sale. Shopping with a list reduces the chance of making impulse buys. Organizing your list by food group can make shopping quick and easy.
Use your list as a guide, but be willing to swap items on your list for unexpected sale items. For example, swap the red potato in your roasted vegetable recipe for the sweet potato that is on sale.
Look for what's in season
Most produce travels over 1,500 miles from farm to plate. Buying local produce can reduce cost and enviromental impact.
Buy in bulk
Buying in bulk eliminates packaging costs and allows you to buy only the amount that you need. Good foods to buy in bulk are oats, rice, dried beans, baking ingredients, nuts and seeds, and spices.
Look up and down for savings
Often the priciest items on the shelf are are placed at eye level. Check out the items on the top and bottom shelves.
Compare and contrast the price per amount between brands to find the best deal. Often the generic brand (i.e. Market Pantry for Target, Great Value for Walmart) is cheaper and tastes just as good.
Make your own snacks
Instead of buying high cost pre-packaged single-serve snacks, consider making your own.