We’re talking about food shopping, and some people enjoy it while others despise it.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed when it comes to food budgeting for yourself or your entire family.
But who says food shopping on a budget has to be difficult? The good news is that wonderful cuisine does not have to be sacrificed. You can eat balanced, wholesome meals that your whole family enjoys with a little early planning and imagination.
- Purchase nonperishable goods from the comfort of your own home.
Protein bars and dried fruits are great items to purchase from online shops such as Amazon or your local store’s website. It helps you save money because you won’t have to pay food tax, and it’s even better if shipping is free. Just keep an eye on the expiration dates.
2. Purchase perishable items in quantities that you will consume.
Food that has been spoiled and thrown away is not cheap. Purchase fresh food in tiny quantities that you will consume within a week. It’s fine to cut up bananas or grapes into smaller pieces depending on how many you need. Look for frozen fruits and vegetables, which are less perishable, instead of predominantly fresh stuff. Allow for portion management and servings that aren’t too big. It also makes nutritious snacks and dinners convenient, so you’ll have no excuse not to eat your fruits and vegetables.
3. Purchase seasonal fruits and vegetables.
You’ll not only save financially, but you’ll also eat the healthiest meals accessible. Print out a useful produce list and keep it on your refrigerator. When you go to the grocery shop, you’ll always be aware of what’s in season.
4. Stock up on meat and cereals.
Make purchasing meat and cereal in bulk a priority. Patton suggests purchasing fresh pork loin and slicing it into low-fat loin chops at home, as well as purchasing a roast and cubing it into bits or purchasing a bird and chopping it up at home. Consider beans as a low-cost source of protein if you don’t eat meat. Rather than buying individual flavored packets with sugar and salt, purchase old fashioned oats in bulk. They also have a higher price tag.
5. Be an informed shopper.
Stick to your food list to keep your budget from ballooning. Use those weekly mailings to plan out your grocery purchases for the week, and compare pricing for your favorite foods among retailers. This helps you avoid impulse purchases, which can quickly deplete your food budget.
6. Limit the amount of ready-to-eat items you buy.
It’s fantastic to have convenience until you have to pay extra for it. Only buy ready-made foods from the deli or refrigerated department when you’re willing to spend more for convenience. You spend more to have someone else make your dinner, and if you keep that in mind while shopping, you’ll start to steer clear of the prepared food section.
7. Be careful when clipping coupons.
Clipping and applying coupons can feel like a victory, but coupons can also convince you to buy things you wouldn’t otherwise purchase.
8. Use your imagination with leftovers
When it comes to putting your ingenuity to work with leftovers, the possibilities are unlimited. To prevent throwing out unused food, make soups, casseroles, and other dishes with it. If you’re stuck for ideas, look up recipes online and substitute your leftover components.
9. Look out for outlet stores
Buying items from these outlet stores will help you stay on budget when it comes to groceries.
10. Avoid portion-controlled snack packs
They are not only more expensive, but they may also not save you calories.
“Keep in mind that fat-free does not always imply sugar-free, and vice versa,” she cautions. “Always read the labels before deciding if these snack packs are worth the money.”