Money-Saving Grocery Shopping Tips

We have all felt the increase in our grocery bills. Many of us, including myself, have had to scale back on impulse buys (not always a bad thing!) or find a less expensive version of what you normally buy. It can be frustrating, so here are a few tips I use to help me stay within my budget at the grocery store.

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    1. Plan. This doesn’t mean you have to have a Pinterest-worthy meal plan, but at least have an idea of what you need for the week. If you can plan for more than a week at a time, that can help you purchase items in bulk and save money. 
    2. Use circulars, apps, and coupons. Choose items at a discounted price to help guide your meals and snacks for the week. Stock up, if you can, on staples when they are at a reduced price. If possible, you may need to try more than one grocery store or include a wholesale club in your rotation.
    3. Make a list and stick to it. If you know shopping with a family member in tow might mean an extra purchase not on the list, or a tantrum about not getting the said item, have the discussion beforehand so they know what to expect. Instead of letting your kids dictate what you buy, include them in the process. Let them choose which shape of noodle to get, which apples to put in the bag, etc.  Include your kids in helping with reading the list or crossing off items as you get them. 
    4. Buy frozen or canned fruits and vegetables. They are just as healthy, last longer, and are less expensive. 
    5. Buy store brands. Many store brands are manufactured by big brand names, so quality shouldn’t be an issue!
    6. Organize your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. Knowing and seeing what you have will eliminate waste. 
    7. Be flexible, try new things, and reduce the desire for perfection. We can often get caught up in label reading and looking for the “healthiest” option, whatever that may mean to you. Checking out the nutrition facts label is certainly important, but the bigger picture of your overall diet is more important. Do the less expensive pretzels have more salt than you would like? But half the price? What does the rest of your diet look like? They will probably be worth it for the price!  Also, try not to get caught up in the marketing of the product (organic, natural, etc.) and let your budget and needs dictate the purchase. 

Comment are share if you have had recent successes at saving money on your groceries!

Reference: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/healthy-eating-budget.html 

Post by Ashley Cully, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

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