It’s really easy to lament the high cost of groceries and accept that that’s the way it’s going to be.
Or you can take a look in your pantry and freezer and think a little harder about what you could do to stretch your grocery budget.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Cut back on meat. Make one meal a week meatless. Make a veggie pizza, a quiche, or bean burritos. You can use less meat than a recipe calls for. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 lb of ground beef, try to use 1/2 lb instead. I buy family packs of ground beef when it’s on sale, and then I repackage them into 1lb increments and freeze them. If I froze the meat in 3/4 lb packages instead of 1 lb, I would get 2 extra meals out of a family pack. Most of the time, you’d never miss the 1/4 lb of meat. Eating less meat is just plain good for your health, too.
Stock up when there’s a good sale. I expect that all corn-based foods will increase in price because of flooding. That will also affect beef prices, too. Watch those prices, because you may find fish and chicken to be less expensive.
Don’t be afraid to try cheaper cuts of meat. Many cheaper cuts of meat are great after being marinaded or put in the crock pot.
Eat more beans. They’re cheap and loaded with fiber and nutrients. Read The Simple Dollar’s take on beans.
Shop at the Bakery Outlets. My area has a Sara Lee Bakery Outlet and I LOVE IT. I frequently get whole grain bread for 75 cents a loaf instead of the insane $3.50 + a loaf at the grocery store. Plus it can be a great place to get hamburger buns, spices, and snacks. My store has discount days and a shopper rewards program. Sure, the stuff is near or just past its prime, but it freezes really well. I’ve never had any problems.
Rethink convenience. Do you need someone to cut your fruit for you? Let’s get real. You can wash your own lettuce and peel your own carrots. And when you do, you’ll save some money.
Shop in season and watch the news. Summer is a great time to get watermelon… not such a great time to get oranges. Are there hurricanes in Venuzuela? Then it may not be the best time to get a deal on bananas. Head to your local farmers’ market and save money there.
What are some ways you stretch your money at the grocery store?