Making the most of your food dollars
It’s a good idea to know how to make the most of your money when buying food. Whether you’re on a tight budget, or just trying to shop wisely, there are some tricks that can really help you.
One of the most important things you can do to save money when you go food shopping is make a grocery list. By having a list of the things you need, you’ll save gas costs on repeat trips for forgotten items, and you’ll also avoid the temptation of buying impulse items. Always keep list paper on your fridge with a pencil or pen, and make sure everyone in the family writes things on the list when they’re low or empty.
Another way to get more bang for your buck is to make recipes. Think of all the meals you make for your family, and write them down in a notebook. Below each one, write all the ingredients needed for that meal. When you’re ready to go shopping, you can look at this list and put ingredients on your shopping list to be sure you get what you need.
You should also look for sales at the places you shop. Buying when items are on sale, or using coupons can save you a lot of money. However, don’t buy something just because it’s on sale. Buying a product you’ve never eaten before just because it’s half off may not be wise, as it could go to waste. However, major sales are a good time to try a new product that you’ve been interested in.
Buying your food in bulk is another great way to save money. Larger packages often cost less than smaller ones. You can always take the food home and separate it into more manageable portions. For example, I can buy 1lb of ground beef for $2.59 a pound, or get a 5lb chub for $2.37 a pound, and just break it into 1lb portions at home, then freeze it.
If you don’t mind eating lesser cuts of meat, this can be another way to save money. Poultry legs and thighs are often less expensive than breasts. Ground meat is typically cheaper than better cuts. However, do keep in mind that bone-in meat is not always a good deal, since you’re paying for the weight of the bones, which you can’t eat. However, you can use the bones to make your own broth rather than buying canned or boxed broth.
Take some time to think and plan before heading to the grocery store. If you have a list made from needs and recipes, you’re mindful of sales and coupons, and you buy in bulk when possible, you can save a lot on your shopping. Combine savvy shopping with meal sharing, and you can really reduce the cost of your monthly grocery expenses.