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8 Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Dollars and Eat Well

Content writer with lots of experience in stretching my dollars in order to enjoy life on a budget.

1. Tweak your Produce Section Shopping List

A grocery list is a good idea to keep you on track to buy the items you need. However there are times where it is better to be flexible. For example if cauliflower is too expensive one week, buy broccoli instead. Choose the apples that are a dollar a pound less. Just a couple of examples of easy ways to save money in the produce aisle.

2. Ration Protein or Choose Smaller Portions.

An easy way to save a few dollars is by choosing a smaller package of chicken or a smaller portion of steak or a roast. It will be hardly noticeable at meal time, and you could have less food waste. Portioning a larger pack of chicken into a variety of sizes to freeze for future meals is a great idea as well. Or even more economical, substitute meat for an item such as canned beans.

3. Treat Yourself to a Premium Grocery Item or Two

It may seem contradictory to buy a premium item or two and still save money, but doing this gives you a small feeling of abundance and anticipation. You will be more excited to consume the food with intention. An example here could be a higher quality chocolate or a decadent mini desert; or local (and slightly more expensive) blueberries. You will be more likely to eat it all too.

Local Blueberries are a Great Choice

Local Blueberries are a Great Choice

4. Don't Overstock on Sale Items

Sale items are a great way to save money, but don't go overboard. Be sure you have a plan to use these items in the short term. It is always a great idea to stock up a little on items like toilet paper, and some canned goods too. But generally these products rotate on sale in a pattern, so no need to overspend and overstock.

5. Be Willing to Shop Around

It can be useful to go to a few different stores to take advantage of good deals. Proceed with caution however; as sometimes this can lead to overbuying and your total weekly grocery bill being inflated. Don't be too tempted to spend on extra items that catch your eye.

6. Pay Attention to Points Offers

Loyalty programs are a great way to gradually earn free groceries. Just don't chase points. Be sure that it's an item you really want or need if you choose to pick it up because there are bonus points available. Another easy way to stretch grocery dollars for the week is to redeem a small amount of free groceries at a time (for example $20 in a week several times a year rather than $100 all at once)

7. Plan Perishable Item Purchases Carefully

An abundance of fresh fruit and vegetable items (especially on sale) seems like a wonderful idea to stock up on. But can you (and/or your household) consume it all without it spoiling too soon. I must admit I have been guilty of this and strive to improve by limiting my purchases to avoid food waste.

8. Plan a Meal Around Some Sale Items

Leave a bit of room in the grocery budget for spontaneity and plan a meal around a few sale items. The possibilities are many, and can make for a creative and delicious lower cost meal or two for the week.

With rising food costs, eating well and staying within a reasonable budget is challenging but possible. Hope you found some of these tips useful !

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© 2021 Nella DiCarlo


Nella DiCarlo (author) from Guelph, Ontario on September 01, 2021:

Thanks everyone for your feedback !

Mark Tulin from Long Beach, California on August 31, 2021:

These tips much needed during these difficult times.

FlourishAnyway from USA on August 31, 2021:

I see what's on sale and plan meals around that. I like tips 6-8 in particular.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 30, 2021:

You have several very good tips for buying groceries, Nella. I do sometimes buy more when they have those b'buy one, get one free', but it is something I use.

Groceries are expensive, so following the tips you included in this article would be helpful for anyone. Thanks for sharing.

Liza from USA on August 29, 2021:

A few days before my grocery shopping, I would have a list of what I need to buy. I like to track items that I have in my pantry because I don't like to overstock items. I also like to shop at a store that usually has sales or prices reduced. I also joined a loyalty program at stores so I can use points to redeem certain items. Thanks for sharing these great tips, Nella.

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