There is often a price to pay in money and time if you are conscious of feeding on healthy fresh produce. Food is a recurrent expenditure meaning lack of good budgeting and planning skills in the kitchen can bite deeply into your pocket. But it is also possible to eat healthy and well-balanced cooked meals affordably. Here are a few food bill help tricks to help you save more at the grocery store.
Buy according to your menus
Instead of buying items just because they are on a bargain, look at your menu in the next one or two weeks. Will you be needing chicken? If not, there is no need to pick it up. Even with freezing, it makes little sense to keep stuff in the freezer for a month, when you could buy it fresh at the same price.
Consider your shopping options carefully
While it may be more convenient to buy everything in one store, it will cost you. Consider several options:
• Weekly ads – A good number of grocery stores still do traditional ads, typically on Tuesdays. Collect these ads and look at what is on the weekend sale and where. Consider using a phone app like Flipp to help you search through weekly grocery store ads.
• Online offers – You can buy non-perishable stuff online. This includes cereals, legumes, oils and honey
• Discount grocery stores – There are bargains at discount stores like Dollar Tree
• Local farmer’s market – You can often get farmers to agree on a bottom price and you can get bargains for bulk purchases from many individual farmers.
Create a list
Seeing all the nutritious and ripe goodies on display can trigger your impulse buying mode. Ensure that you are clear on what you need by making a list. Only when this list is cleared should you consider extra purchases. Apps like Bring allow you to create a list on your phone and share it with family members who may help with the grocery shopping.
Know the pricing
Agricultural produce will be quoted in decimal prices and in different units; grams, kilos, ounces, and pounds. This can get a bit confusing when doing comparisons. A good idea would be to use a smartphone conversion and a calculator app.
Shop the clearance aisle
Most grocery stores will have a clearance aisle at the back where you can find items that are nearing their sell-by date. This should be your first stop. Look at items that you can use for the next one or two days and pick them from this aisle at cheap prices.
Use bill help apps
There are many personal budgeting apps for your smartphone. Get one with bill help features to help you track your kitchen expenses.
Cashback and coupons
Cashback apps like Ibotta send a percentage of your expenditure back into your bank or PayPal. Be on the lookout for coupons as well. MedCard members can print out free coupons in the members section. Search for things on your list and then print the coupons and take them with you on your next shopping trip.
Good planning and an eye for good bargains are all you need to start saving hundreds of dollars per year on your grocery expenditures.