Ways to Save Money at the Grocery Store
Buy in bulk: Steel-cut oats bought from the bulk bin, for instance, are $.89 per pound, while a tin runs $3.35 a pound. Rice, lentils, beans, and chickpeas are also great bulk savers, as well as large bags of rice.
Compare apples to apples: Compare the prices of similar items carefully. Make sure you are comparing pound per pound and serving per serving.
Buy seasonal: Eating seasonal produce is more than just fresh and delicious, it saves money. Cucumbers in season are generally bargains. But out of season, they have to travel from afar and can cost several dollars per pound. Stay attuned to the seasons so you can buy the fruits and veggies that are most economical – and freshest as a bonus.
Pro tip: bagged produce is cheaper than loose produce. Bags may include "ugly" items, but they are perfectly edible. Especially with veggies that go into soup, or fruit that goes into a shake, bagged makes more sense.
Stock your pantry: Having plenty of inexpensive staples on hand such as beans, rice, lentils, canned tomatoes, and tomato paste, lets you turn to the convenience of the pantry rather than make an expensive trip to the store.
Make your own: Few of us have time to cook everything from scratch, but some foods are worth the extra effort. Homemade trail mix can save you 50% over the pre-made packages, and cooking and freezing your own beans will save you several dollars- ounce for ounce- over canned beans, and are also lower in sodium.
Shop for bargains: Check your local grocery store’s weekly circular or look for specials at the store, then plan meals around the items that are on sale. When there is a sale on items you use regularly, take advantage and buy extra. Buy-one, get-one-free deals in particular can help the bottom line.
Surf the Web: Many food manufacturers offer product coupons online. Browse the internet to find savings on your favorite products. Many grocery chains also advertise specials and offer coupons on their websites. Beware 60 to 80% of food coupons are for products that will not contribute to your health.
Plant an herb garden: Fresh herbs from the supermarket cost about $2 an ounce and often are not used before they wither. Consider growing herbs in your backyard or in windowsill pots. Herbs do not require much maintenance, and you can snip exactly the amount needed for a recipe.
Try Meatless Monday: Meat is one of the most expensive food items. Aim to eat one vegetarian meal per week. It is great for your health and your pocketbook.
Cook from scratch: When time allows, preparing meals from scratch is another savvy strategy. These meals can cost as little at $1-2 per serving. That is a deal!
Shop with a list: Spending 1/2 an hour on planning can save you $100!