Today’s inflationary environment is forcing us to find ways to stretch our grocery budgets further. Moreover, the persistent rise in food prices is also forcing people to consider substituting their favorite items for cheaper alternatives.
This is especially true if you have a family that likes to eat a varied diet that includes dairy products, beef, chicken, fruits and vegetables, and the occasional dessert. The cost of these foods has increased dramatically lately. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce believes that these price hikes are happening because labor shortages, supply chain blockages, and soaring energy costs are forcing food producers to raise their prices at the wholesale level. Grocery stores typically pass most of these extra costs to consumers by raising the retail prices they charge to their customers.
Fortunately, you can save money on your grocery bill by developing some positive shopping habits that are easy to incorporate into your shopping routine. Here are three low-cost ways to stretch your grocery budget further that are especially easy to use while shopping for groceries.
1- Buy Your Favorite Foods in Bulk
Buying foods in bulk offers an easy way to save on groceries by taking advantage of a larger item’s economy of scale to save money on the marginal cost, or unit price, of the item.
Most items bought in bulk are typically more expensive than their smaller counterparts. As a result, it’s a good idea to purchase food and household items in bulk that your family uses on a regular basis. You’ll otherwise defeat the purpose of buying in bulk by wasting money on something your family doesn’t use often enough to justify the item’s higher price.
2- Plan Your Meals in Advance
Planning your meals in advance is a great way to save money on your grocery bill. Most people do it to take advantage of sales on meat, poultry, dairy products, and produce. Others do it to help them avoid impulse purchases and questionable purchases that can wreck a food budget in a hurry.
The simplest way to plan your meals is to use a weekly planner that has enough room to list ingredients for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can use these ingredient lists to make shopping lists that are easy to follow. Don’t forget to ask your family about their favorite foods when you prepare these lists. Doing this often will help you save money by avoiding foods that nobody wants to eat.
3- Buy Generic Brands
Most supermarkets and online grocers offer generic versions of popular food and household items. Purchasing these items can help you save money on your grocery bill because they usually offer the same quality that name-brand items are known for at a lower price.
Some of the generic grocery items that are worth buying often include:
- Paper plates, plastic utensils, and paper towels
- Aluminum foil and wax paper
- Staple food items such as pasta, cereals, and bread
- Eggs and frozen vegetables
Knowing which generic brands to purchase takes some practice because everybody has different needs and wants. However, taking the time to know which generic brands your family enjoys is worthwhile because the savings offered by generic brands can go a long way towards stretching your grocery budget to its fullest potential.