Are you looking for some creative ways to save on groceries? There are times when we struggle to figure out what's for dinner or who's going to cook dinner. Make grocery shopping and meal planning a little easier by making it a family affair and planning family meals ahead of time. Let's dive deeper into how you can accomplish making your life a little easier.
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Plan Ahead for Grocery Shopping
Planning your grocery list before you go shopping saves you time and money. Preparing the grocery list can be accomplished in several ways. One way is to make grocery planning a family affair by sitting around your table and asking your family what they would like for dinner that week or month. This helps ensure everyone has a say in what's happening at the dinner table and makes planning meals fun. As the meal ideas come together, you can see what you need to purchase for your weeknight dinner creations.
Saving Money On Groceries
Make An Organized Grocery List
The weekly list is created; look in your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator to see what you already have available. Inventorying your grocery items can decrease the need to buy additional items that you may already have. Next, when making your grocery list, organize it by category: frozen foods, produce, dry foods, canned foods, etc. This can save time and money in the grocery store and avoid impulse buying when browsing the aisles and searching for items. You can find free grocery templates online at The Grocery List Collection or write your grocery items on a notepad.
Buying Grocery Basics
Let's cover the basics of food purchases. The central part of most meals is protein. However, the staples are also essential because they can stretch the meal, make it more filling, and staples have a longer shelf-life. Things like pasta, rice, mashed potatoes, and muffins can be used as fillers and are not expensive to purchase. These can be bought in bulk and used on nights when you need a quick and easy grain at mealtime.
Shopping for Vegetables
Vegetables are also cheaper to buy when purchased frozen instead of fresh. Fresh vegetables have a specific shelf life and need to be used within days to weeks of purchasing. Frozen vegetables can be used periodically, and the remainder refrozen for future meals. However, if you like fresh vegetables in your diet, you may be able to find cheaper produce at your local farmer's market. The key is to go when the sellers try to go home and offload their products at the end of the day.
Want to work on your green thumb? Try growing your vegetables. This is a great family or individual activity, and you reap the benefits of gardening. To me, it seems that food tastes better when you put in the work to grow it and cook it.
Determine Your Shopping Method
Now that your list is complete determine if you want to go into the grocery store to shop or if you want to use one of the grocery apps to pick up your food or have it delivered. If you shop for items in-store, stick to your list and try not to get things that are not on it. An important fact to mention is that the items in your grocery store at eye level are the ones retailers want you to buy the most. Retailers pay prime for eye-level shelf space, so look at the lower level to see off-brand product price savings. If you look up, you will see the organic and more expensive products for purchase. So, how do you get out of being caught in the shelf placement battle? You can shop for items placed at the end of the aisles for healthier, low-sodium, and unprocessed options.
The easiest method is home delivery. Using a grocery app to pick up your food from the grocery store allows you to stick to your budget and pick up your food on the way from work, church, or any other activity you have throughout the week. It's convenient; you don't overspend, you stick to your set budget, and you can save time and gas money. Using a grocery app also lets you preview past purchases that are a staple in your family's diet and makes grocery shopping a little easier.
There are instances when you may be short on time and just don't have time to plan a meal. Meal delivery services are a quick and easy way to reduce your eating out budget and add a bit of variety to your meal planning. Most deal delivery services like Dinnerly are affordable when you eat at least two meals a day at home. For a family of three, you could spend $15 per meal as opposed to $15 per person with fresh food delivery.
Small Changes, Big Savings
These small changes can result in significant money savings that can reduce other debt you may have. Setting a budget for groceries in advance and planning your weekly and monthly meals can decrease what you spend on groceries and reduce your trips to the grocery store. Remember, grocery shopping technology is changing how the world operates and can benefit you on many fronts.