Dollar-Stretching Shopping Tips
Focus on Value Foods
It’s fun to cook with a wide variety of ingredients, but sticking to the foods with the most nutrition per dollar can get you through a lean patch. Refer to your “Good and Cheap” cookbook for easy, dollar saving (but filling) recipes.
Buy in Bulk
Whether it’s dividing up large Costco meat packages or hauling 50-pound bags of grain from a feed store, there are lots of ways to save by bulk buying. The important thing is to safeguard against waste by making sure you have a safe place to store it and that you will use the entire purchase before it goes bad.
Do the Work
You can make your own bread for half the price of a low-end store-bought loaf, and end up with a more delicious and nutritious product. Pre-chopped and washed veggies cost a premium and don’t stay fresh as long. Roll up your sleeves and do your own prep work to save.
The recipe may call for pine nuts, but pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are way cheaper.
Stop Throwing Food Away
Since 40% of all food produced in the United States is thrown away, eliminating waste is low-hanging fruit. Avoid waste by serving the kids small portions and seconds (or thirds) as needed, using tiny containers to save every last leftover, and incorporating those leftovers into other dishes. There are plenty more ways to cut food waste.
You know by now that soda is bad for you, but you don’t need juice either. If you don’t like plain water, flavor it with a splash of juice instead of pouring whole glasses of juice. Not only does this save money, but it cuts calories too.
Learn to Make Cheap Meat Delicious
Meat lovers don’t have to buy T-bones to enjoy a hearty meal. Osso buco, carnitas and hanger steak are all delicious when done right.
Adding beans or rice really does make a stew go further!
Make Your Own
Prepared foods are among the highest-margin items in the supermarket. If you’ve
never tried it, you might be surprised how easy it is to make your own guacamole, hummus, or even peanut butter
Make Your Own Instant Mixes
Another high-cost item is “instant” anything. Make single-serve oatmeal packets, pancake mix, or practically anything you use a mix for, and save.
Taking home items that are about to expire can save you 50% or more if you are able to use or freeze them right away.
Grow a Garden
Even if you only have a balcony, you can grow enough food to reduce your spending. To realize savings, it’s important to pay attention to how much you spend on a garden. Focus on plants that produce expensive items to save the most.
Go for the discounts!
Coupons, online deals, in-store offers, rebates — these tactics really work and can easily cut your grocery spending by 20% or more.