4 Ways To Cut Your Grocery Bill As Food Prices Soar

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Did your grocery bill give you a double take?

You are not to blame. Inflation is.

Rising prices are hitting nearly every supermarket aisle in the United States. The cost of steaks increased by 25% between November 2020 and November 2021. Eggs and fish increased by 8%, to name just a few unfortunate examples.

If you’re worried about rising costs, here are some tips for saving money to feed yourself and your family.

1. Plan ahead

Don’t show up to the supermarket without a shopping list and some ideas of what to cook for the week, experts say.

“Meal planning definitely cuts costs,” said Leanne Brown, author of Good Enough, a cookbook on personal care. “If you stick to it, you aren’t wasting the food you bought without a plan.”

As you prepare your meals for the week, try to think of recipes that can be easily repurposed, Brown said. This will allow you to buy less.

For example, a pot of chili can be used later to fill burritos or as a nacho garnish.

Eating certain foods repeatedly can feel sad or monotonous – or, like so many other things in life – you can choose to view it in a more positive way.

“Having the same breakfast every day for a week can be very comforting and simplify things both in terms of portfolio and decision-making,” Brown said. “Then you can do other things next week so that you don’t get bored. “

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Meanwhile, shopping with a grocery list probably won’t stop all of your impulse buying, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be using one.

“Even if you stick to it a bit, it’s great,” Brown said. “We don’t have to worry about perfection.”

As a treat, she’s deliberately planning to buy a thing or two from her list.

2. Compare costs

Searching for sales and strategically buying items from stores where they cost less are other ways to save money on food, experts say. You can usually browse the discounts on a supermarket’s website or app, or find them at the retailer.

Go through your shopping list before deciding where to shop, said Erin Clarke, author of The Well Plated Cookbook. Next, try to find the store that offers the best value for the particular items you are looking for.

“If you are taking a product-rich trip, look for a store with frequent product sales,” Clarke said. “If you stock up on shelf-stable products, choose a store that offers the best value, even if other items, like produce, cost more.”

Billy Vasquez, who runs the blog The 99 Cent Chef, said he collects several of his non-perishable items, including mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, dried pasta, beans and tortilla chips, at her local dollar store.

Timing is everything with food, Vasquez added.

“Buy when fruits and vegetables are in season,” he said. “They are often on sale.”

Every time you walk into the store, it’s an opportunity for impulse buying to drive up the bill.

Around St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, and Independence Day, you can find deep discounts on items like corned beef, carrots, cabbage, turkey, duck, roasts, ham. , canned stuffing, burgers and hot dogs, many of which can be stored in the freezer for long periods of time, Vasquez said.

All year round, generic and store brands tend to be the cheapest varieties, Brown said, adding that “buying more canned and frozen vegetables when many are not in season is another choice. evergreen leaves “.

3. Stock up on staples

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Make sure your kitchen and pantry are always stocked with some basic items, experts say. This will allow you to buy fewer new items each week.

Some of the most useful foods to have on hand include eggs, pasta, rice, bread, canned tomatoes, frozen vegetables and fruits, onions and potatoes, Brown said. Consider purchasing these products in bulk, if you have the space, to cut costs over time.

Many meals can be prepared with these ingredients alone, and they serve as the basis for countless more.

4. Choose wisely

Meat and dairy tend to be the most expensive items in the supermarket, and especially lately. In response, aim to cook more meals that don’t rely on them as a central ingredient, Brown said.

“Using meat sparingly as a flavor, like adding a little bacon to a mushroom risotto, is more economical,” she said. Eating less meat also helps you reduce your environmental footprint, she added.

Purchasing foods with a longer shelf life may reduce your trips to the supermarket. Even some products can be stored longer than others.

“Cabbage, carrots, Brussels sprouts and beets can last two weeks or more when stored in the crisper,” Clarke said.

Delaying your return is always good for your wallet.

“Every time you walk into the store, it’s an opportunity for impulse buying to drive up the bill,” Clarke said.

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