1. Get your hands on these apps
Want to make grocery shopping a breeze? Grocery Pal, BeFrugal, and Grocery Tripopens in a new window will scan your list for the lowest prices in your area as well as create a shopping list from your favorite recipes. This quick step will help trim your grocery bill while encouraging habits of frequent home cooking.
2. Shop local
Skip the grocery store altogether and instead check out your farmer’s market for affordable, locally-grown, and seasonal fresh produce. Because there is no middle man (i.e. the grocery store) chances are the fruit and vegetables you buy at the farmer’s market will not only be fresher but cheaper too. You’ll feel good knowing you’re supporting your local community while stretching your budget.
3. Shop on Wednesdays
Mid-week shopping results in significant savings: the launch of new sales plus last week’s deals (most stores will honor both) allow for doubled down savings.
And take advantage of sale items and stock up. You can even stock up on produce by picking pieces that aren’t quite ripe yet. That way you’ll have a few more days or weeks before you need to consume them.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask about discounts or complimentary add-ons
Many stores will offer discounts on bakery or meat items that are about to expire (and remember, the store’s expiration date doesn’t mean the food has gone bad, it’s just the last day the food will be put out for purchase). This can be a great way to save money, especially if you plan to cook or use the food soon.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask the butcher to tenderize or trim your meat, or ask the baker to slice your bread. Most people are more than happy to go the extra mile to help their customers.
5. Stay away from pre-made foods
Yes, it may be a lot easier to grab the prepared food, but no matter how good it looks, avoid it if you can. Instead, buy the ingredients and make the same dish at home. It’ll save you money and be a lot fresher. The same goes for pre-washed salad, pre-cut fruit, and packages of grated cheese. You’re paying a premium for something that will take you only a few minutes to do yourself.
What you can do next
It might take some planning, but there are plenty of ways to take a bite out of your grocery bills—from cash-back and coupon apps to farm-to-table produce.
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