Small Ways to Cut Down on Your Grocery Bills
High inflation has been persistent in some areas, and unfortunately, food prices are still higher than usual. The cost of groceries has increased 13.5 percent, according to a recent report, the largest increase in a single year since 1979. It’s not like skipping meals is an option. But there may be small steps you and/or your family can take to cut down a bit on those hefty grocery bills.
You may not be able to do all these things, but making changes in just one or two areas on this list
- Eat at home
- Review where you shop
- Spend less
- Save more
- Eat healthier
Stock Up on Inexpensive Staples – Including Frozen Goods
If you are wondering what food to prioritize next time you go shopping, some of the best edible items to stockpile on the cheap are non-perishable ones, especially when purchased in bulk. Depending on where you go, these include peanut butter, beans and lentils, rice and grains, pasta, canned goods like tomatoes, frozen veggies, and baking ingredients such as flour, baking soda and cooking oils. Just make sure they will be consumed before their expiration date.
Snack Less & Stick to Your Shopping List
You know what they say: never go grocery shopping hungry, unless you want a house full of ice cream and potato chips. Speaking of which, junk food prices have a way of adding up under the radar. They aren’t prohibitively expensive, but they also aren’t packed with nutrients that are necessary for human survival.
A better plan is to make a shopping list based on needs as well as costs. Perhaps you can make popcorn at home instead of spending money on snack food. On the other end of the spectrum, meat has become very expensive lately. Add dry beans to your shopping list and try out some new bean recipes! You’ll get your daily protein and iron needs without the fat and the unnecessary expense.
Stop Throwing Food Out!
Did you know the United States wastes 30-40 percent of its food supply each year? Tragic but true. To put it another way, the average family of four throws out $1,500 worth of food each year. That’s a lot of groceries families could be buying. With prices the way they are, it’s a great time to take a closer look at any wasteful habits and get them under control.
Other Strategic Ways to Spend Less on Food
Still looking for ways to cut corners? It may be time to get strategic. If cooking at home isn’t doing the trick entirely, there may be other ways to save a few dollars (or quarters) here and there. Are you being consistent in your improved habits? What about the other people in your household?
Here are some other small steps that help families stay on a cost-cutting path:
- Track your food expenses over time. That way you’ll know what the real money-suckers are in your grocery cart.
- Cook items you wouldn’t have considered with those leftovers. Any bones can be cheaply converted into delicious broth and used for soups and stews, for example.
- Pre-cook your meals for the week. Freeze what you won’t consume within a few days.
- Consider point systems that offer cash back on grocery purchases.
- Buy produce in season. Then make apple sauce with those apples and tomato sauce with those bulk tomatoes.
- Contact bakeries to get deals on day-old bread. Then freeze it and only take out what you need to make it last longer.
Look for Local Financial Services
If you’re still struggling financially, consider governmental food assistance and/or contact local food banks to see what other help is available in your community.
Meanwhile, keep in mind that Currency Exchanges offer many financial and auto services to help you stay on top of your bills. Services at CCEA such as prepaid debit cards don’t rely on credit and encourage healthy financial routines to accompany your improved eating, shopping and cooking habits.
Check us out online or stop by to see how we help people cash their checks, pay their bills, and take care of other financial tasks.
With over 350 locations, many open nights, weekends, and holidays (and several stores with 24/7 availability), you can rest easy knowing your financial needs can be taken care of when you need them most. We’re in the heart of every community. Don’t believe us? See for yourself.