Mrs Frugal is a freelance writer who enjoys making and creating simple and delicious recipes. She can often be found in the kitchen.
With grocery prices on the rise, I've heard people share with me both in person and online about how much their grocery bills have increased. Meats like beef and pork have increased so much, I have consistently seen prices that are almost double of what I paid just a few short years ago. There are many people worried that they will not be able to afford food, especially those on social security and others living on or below the poverty line.
There are those that have looked for ways to supplement their groceries by applying for food stamp benefits or visiting their local food bank. So what can be done? While the average person has no say in what price the groceries are, there are some ways we can utilize our money, groceries and time, so we can save the most money possible on groceries.
5 Simple Ways To Save Money On Groceries
1. Shop Less
2. Inspect Your Food
3. Only Buy What You Will Eat
4. Eat at Home
5. Don't Waste Food
1. Shop Less To Save More
I'm sure we have all been there, where we make a "quick" trip to the store to pick up one item like milk, bread, etc. and then come out with an extra bag or cart load full of groceries. While we didn't intend to buy all that extra food, we can make the excuse that it was on sale, it looked or sounded good, etc. The reality is, the more you shop, the more you will end up spending. Here are some ways to shop less and save more:
- Grocery shop on the same day every week, bi-weekly or monthly. By choosing that same day to get your groceries, you can prepare your grocery list beforehand so you don't forget any groceries you will need.
- Make do! If you forget an ingredient you might need for a dish, omit it, find a substitution for your recipe, or make something else.
- Consider using a curbside grocery pickup at your local grocery store. It's very simple to use, saving you both time and money. With curbside grocery pickup, you're able to pick out your groceries online from your phone, desktop computer, tablet, etc., pay for them and then pick them up at the time and day you have chosen. I have personally used curbside grocery pickup every week for over a year now and will continue to use it as long as it's available. It has been one of my favorite ways to grocery shop! I love that I can add groceries to my online cart throughout the week, as I see a need or want for them and then have the opportunity to choose the day and time that is most convenient for me to pick them up.
- Another great option that is similar to curbside grocery pickup is grocery delivery. Many grocery stores are now participating in a variety of grocery delivery services, that work similar to curbside grocery pickup. You simply choose your groceries online, pick a time and day that you want them delivered and then pay a fee with your grocery purchases for the delivery. This is a great way to save time and money if you live a distance from grocery stores, work unpredictable hours, have health issues or taking care of someone with health issues, recovering from surgery, a mom with a newborn, etc. It's very convenient and the people that I know who use it regularly, say it is well worth the fee they pay to get their groceries delivered.
2. Inspect Your Food
One of the simplest ways to save money on food, especially items like fruit, vegetables, meats, etc. is to inspect your food thoroughly, so you're not buying food that is expired or spoiled. Inspecting your food is making sure your items are fit for your consumption. Try these tips to help you inspect your groceries for quality:
- With fruits like berries, check the top and bottom of the carton for mold, as well as shaking the package. If you shake the package and the berries easily move, the berries are good, but if you shake the package and the berries stick together, there are at least one or more berries in the carton that are mushy and possibly rotten.
- Check the expiration dates. There has been many times I have picked up an item in the grocery store and when I checked the expiration date, the item had expired weeks or even months before. So remember to check the dates of every item you buy.
- When buying fresh greens, make sure your greens are not slimy in any way, sticking together or have a bad odor to them.
- When buying fresh or deli meat, make sure the meat is not greying in any way or has a potent smell.
- Open your carton of eggs and check them before purchasing. You don't want to buy any eggs that are cracked. Any cracked eggs in a carton will easily attract bacteria.
3. Only Buy What You Will Eat
It's easy to hear about the new "super food" and how x,y,z will help your health or weight loss. You end up buying food that you dislike or don't eat because you don't know how to use it. I know I've personally overbought on fruits and vegetables to "help" my health or weight loss goals and then these foods were not used, because I didn't like them or was limited in ways I could use them. So before you buy items that you aren't sure you will like or use, stick with foods that you know you like to save money on your grocery bill.
4. Eat At Home
Eating out is not only expensive but anytime you have bought groceries and then decide to eat out, your groceries at home are not being used. When you eat out more and not use what you have at home, your groceries are most likely to spoil and have to be thrown away because you're not eating them in a timely manner. So if you want to save money on your grocery bill, eat out less and eat the groceries you buy.
5. Don't Waste Food
While I truly believe most people do not buy food to purposely waste it, if we were to write down every bit of food we threw away in a week, I think we would be quite surprised and maybe embarrassed at how much food we were wasting. When we throw food away, it's the same as throwing money away, since the foods we throw away had to be purchased.
One of the simplest ways to save money on groceries, is to waste as little food as possible. To waste less food, you will need to take into account what you purchase and what you have in your refrigerator, freezer, kitchen cabinets and pantry. Take an inventory of what groceries need to be used first, things like:
- Fruits & Vegetables (berries and lettuce tend to spoil the quickest)
- Meats (especially raw meat)
- Dairy (cow's milk tends to have the shortest shelf life)
Once you've determined the things that need to be used first, from there you can use these perishables to add or create new meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. You can also freeze most perishables to be used for a later date so they don't spoil. Here is a great list of items that can be easily frozen and saved for a later date. You can also use your leftover food to make a variety of new dishes with leftovers like:
Another great site is my fridge food, which gives you a variety of recipes that goes by the ingredients you have on hand.
© 2021 Mrs Frugal