Most Americans are facing a cash crunch right now and looking for ways to save. Groceries might be a big expense, especially with many families eating all of their meals at home right now. If you’re looking to significantly slash costly grocery bills, here are some of our favorite ways to save.
- Take an inventory of what you already have before you make a meal plan for the week. What’s already in your fridge, freezer or pantry? What can you make with those items? Start there to make your meal plan.
- Make a list before you shop. The list will be based on what you need to accomplish all of your meals for the week plus any necessary extras. Stick to the list when you shop.
- Compare grocery stores. Most have circulars with their sale items right online. Which store has the best prices on what you need this week? flipp.com can help you compare.
- Take advantage of grocery store loyalty cards. They all have them, and the discounts on various products each week can equal big savings on your grocery bill.
- Check per unit prices when you’re purchasing something. Buying in bulk may save you on a per-unit cost. It can be especially helpful if it’s an item you use a lot of or that has a long shelf life. In some cases when comparing, you may be surprised to find that bigger is not always better. When in doubt, be sure to check that per-unit price.
- Buy generic or store brands. Many grocery chains now have their own store brands and they often come at a big discount compared to major brands.
- Take advantage of money-saving apps and coupons. Apps including ibotta, Checkout 51, Shopkick, and coupons.com to name just a few can help you rack up some big savings. ibotta is currently advertising a $20 welcome bonus just for using the app. ibotta is a free cashback rewards and payments app that gives you real cash for everyday purchases, such as groceries when you pay through the app. Checkout51 offers a list of new savings opportunities each week. You select your offers and check off the items purchased on your receipt. You then upload your receipt to receive cashback savings. Shopkick enables you to earn points for products purchased to redeem for a wide variety of digital gift cards. Coupon.com provides shoppers with free print and online coupons for many popular products and retail outlets. Not into apps? Don’t be afraid to clip coupons the old-fashioned way.
- Store your food properly to cut down on waste. It can be a big waste of money if you overbuy and don’t use items fast enough or store them properly. Store lettuce and greens in the proper containers. Store vegetables in your refrigerator crisper drawer. Fruits and veggies produce condensation as they chill, so line your crisper with paper towels to absorb the moisture and change those towels often. Don’t wash fruits or veggies until you are ready to use them. Keep fresh herbs fresher longer by wrapping them in damp paper towels and keeping them in a Ziploc in your fridge. Store milk towards the back of your fridge, where it’s colder. If you have some older vegetables that aren’t that attractive but are still usable, think before you toss. Consider making a soup or a stock. Have bananas that are way past their prime? Bake up some delicious banana bread or muffins. Can’t eat all of those leftovers in your fridge, then freeze them while they’re still fresh.
- Don’t buy pre-cut produce. You’re paying for the convenience, so it’s much more expensive and doesn’t last as long.
- Consider having your groceries delivered. It will save you on impulse buys.
- Don’t shop hungry. We all overbuy when we are hungry.
Food can be one of the biggest expenses your family is facing each week. We hope these tips help make your grocery shopping a bit more affordable. Need more financial solutions to get through these uncertain times? Call Choice One Community Credit Union or visit us online at www.choiceone.org.