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10 Smart Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill as Inflation Raises Prices

10 Smart Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill as Inflation Raises Prices

We’re all feeling the effects of inflation right now and it’s certainly evident at the grocery store. Food prices they are up about 12% over last year, and some categories are up even more.

We are seeing significantly higher prices on staple foods like egg, beefAND milk. Those dollars add up, even for the most savvy shopper. A 12% price increase means that if your grocery budget is typically $500, it’s now stretched to $560.

However, there are ways to help spend less on groceries and still put nutritious meals on the table. Try some of these tips to cut costs at the grocery store when inflation drives up prices.

This is difficult to quantify, but planning helps save money for many reasons. Making a shopping list helps you avoid impulse purchases that add up.

You’re more likely to use what you buy and what you already have on hand, which helps further reduce costs. Researchers It is estimated that, on average, families throw away around 30% of the food they buy.

Having a dinner plan (plus a few lunches and breakfasts) for the week also helps you cook more at home and forgo takeout or other more expensive options on busy days.

It doesn’t have to be complex, but writing down a few recipes and then purchasing the ingredients is a great strategy to help you save money at the store.

As a dietitian, I always advocate for people to eat more fruits and vegetables. These foods may seem expensive, but there are ways to stretch your dollar and still fill up on the nutrition the products provide.

Choosing frozen, canned or dried fruits and vegetables is a great way to save money and still integrate vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants into your diet. Look for options that contain less added sugar and salt.

Consider replacing a more expensive fruit or vegetable with something cheaper. Make the kale into a slaw instead of a mixed green salad to save money. Use onions instead of shallots in a soup recipe, or try frozen berries instead of fresh in a smoothie.

Also, make sure you actually eat what you buy. This is another reason why frozen and canned produce are great staples, but consume delicate produce first so you don’t end up throwing money away.

You can also try freezing produce or adding anything that’s about to go bad into soups, fried rice, or eggs.

Some of us are already experts at using coupons and flipping through weekly sale flyers. But if you don’t currently do this, it’s not too late to start. Most grocery stores offer discounts throughout the store. Combine them with coupons and you could save quite a bit.

If you shop online, using a grocery delivery or pickup service, try adding virtual coupons to your order or filtering products by what’s on sale. If there’s a grocery store you go to often, make sure you’re signed up to receive their rewards points.

My favorite strategy is to first look at what’s on sale, then add some of these foods to my meal plan for the week. This way I don’t add a lot of extra foods just because they’re on sale. I also check coupons for the foods I usually buy.

If you don’t know what a unit price is, you should. It is located on the shelf next to the item price and allows you to better compare different sizes and brands.

Let’s say you eat cereal every week. It may make sense to buy the larger box, which will cost more at the time but will be cheaper per pound than the smaller box. Unit prices show cost by weight, and smaller sizes cost more.

Scanning the unit price can also help you compare different brands that may offer their food products in different package sizes and find the one that best fits your budget.

Protein-rich foods like meat, poultry, and seafood tend to be some of the most expensive foods on our plates. There are ways to see some smart savings here without giving up meat (if you don’t want to!).

It’s true that many plant-based proteins, like beans and tofu, are cheaper than meat. Trying a meatless meal or two could help you save some money.

Choosing less expensive cuts of meat also helps. Choosing ground beef, steak or chicken thighs (over breast) is one way to cut costs. Talk to your butcher or compare prices to save money.

Since protein is expensive, if you have the freezer space, it might make sense to stock up when it’s on sale. Then freeze and thaw when you’re ready to cook.

You can also stretch meat by mixing it with vegetables and grains in dishes like stir-fries, burgers or casseroles.

With protein, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing, but small steps can help you save money over time.

My grandmother, who grew up during the Great Depression, almost never threw away food. I once tried to get rid of yogurt that I thought was expired, and she quickly corrected me and put it back in the fridge.

Sometimes, food goes moldy or rancid, so please don’t eat it! But the dates you see on food packages often represent quality standards, not safety.

Aside from infant formula, which has a safety date, foods are listed with “best before”, “use by”, “use by” or “use by” dates that indicate freshness and quality, according to regulations . USDA.

Check those dates, both in the store and at your home, to make sure what you’re buying is fresh and that you’re using older products first.

Paying attention to dates can help you save money since you eat your food when it’s freshest. However, you don’t need to consider those given as hard and fast rules for throwing away food.

Sometimes, when it seems like there’s nothing to eat in the house, there is. Turning to what you have before making a list and shopping can help you save money, since you’re using what you have.

It may take a little more effort (maybe you’re not quite sure what to do with that box of pasta, or you’ve got a bag of broccoli languishing in the freezer), but using these building blocks to tackle a meal can help you keep costs down. decline.

Taking inventory also helps you consume food before it spoils.

Buying more of everything isn’t the smartest choice and means you’re spending a lot of money upfront on groceries. Department stores, such as Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s, offer great deals on groceries.

They can be especially useful for large families who need to stock up on a lot of food. Even if you’re not cooking for a crowd, you may find that it makes sense to purchase certain staple foods in bulk due to the significant cost savings.

If you don’t have a warehouse membership or a lot of space to store extra food at home, simply purchasing larger sizes (check unit prices!) at your regular store can help you save.

Many of us are loyal to our grocery store, but switching can help you save on your grocery bill. Depending on your sales, you may want to change where you shop.

Additionally, some grocery stores only offer certain foods at a lower price, and not just in department stores. Stores like ALDI and Trader Joe’s have developed a loyal following for offering great prices on their items. Even dollar stores will have some basic groceries at great prices.

Not everyone has the ability to shop at different stores, due to where they live and how easy it is to access food, but if you can mix up the places you shop, you might be able to save some money.

It’s true that many times we pay a premium for convenience: think pre-cut produce or sauces that are pre-prepared and ready to use.

However, sometimes these convenience items pay off and mean you’re eating a home-cooked meal instead of getting takeout again or letting items in your fridge go to waste.

We all need a little help putting dinner on the table, so choose your convenience wisely and make sure you get what you pay for.

Sometimes the cost of chopped vegetables or jarred sauce is not much higher. Pay attention to the prices to see what the premium is, and also know that you can find convenience without paying more by purchasing items like frozen vegetables.

You may need a little help from the store, but make sure you choose this convenience wisely and use it to your advantage to save money in the long run by cooking more at home.

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