A few months ago, you probably had a well-organized grocery list and a good idea of how much you usually spend. But now that we’re all cooking at home more and possibly panic buying when we see something on the shelf and feel the need to grab it while we can, our grocery bills are climbing. And when you add in the fact that grocery prices are going up, too, your food budget may be blown. Luckily, there are ways to get strategic and save, even during the pandemic.
- Make a list before you go- Having an idea of what you’re going to cook and a list with the items you’ll need will help you get in and out of the store faster. Group things together by where you find them in the store to make it easier.
- Freeze fruit so you don’t waste it- Buy what’s on sale and in-season then freeze what you don’t eat right away.
- Try more plant-based meals- Meats are the most expensive thing in your cart, so consider swapping your hamburgers for black bean burgers every once in a while to save.
- When you buy meat, buy it in bulk and freeze it- Get it in bulk or when it’s on sale and put it in meal-size portions before freezing.
- Prioritize meals that leave you with leftovers- You can freeze these too, so you’re not eating the same thing night after night and have ready-made meals when you want them.
- Coupons, Coupons, Coupons- Use them on the stuff you’d be buying anyway and you’ll save. Check out Coupons.com to find digital ones you’ll use.
- Less processed = cheaper- Usually, the more processed the food is, the more expensive it is. So cutting and peeling your own veggies is cheaper than buying them precut and ready to use. It’s also true for everything from frozen meals to instant pre-packaged oatmeal, where you pay more for convenience.