- Plan, plan, plan! Go through your grocery circulars on a day when you have an hour or so to focus on this. Based on what’s on sale, decide what dinners you will prepare for the week and what you’ll need. It takes a bit of time to plan ahead, but when you do this you’ll have a defined list that makes the shopping itself quicker and less costly.
- At the store, don’t be tempted to toss items in the cart that you don’t need. This can be difficult when shopping with children. If you find you often give into their requests at the store, try shopping when they’re at home with someone else or give them clear expectations that you are only buying what is on the list.
- Depending on where the stores are located, you may find you’ll save more by shopping at two different stores for their sale items. Stop and Shop and Shaws are less than half a mile from each other in my town, so this is a strategy I sometimes use.
- For produce, look for items that are in season. When there are more available, they tend to be lower priced. Also, frozen fruits and vegetables are excellent economical choices. Produce is frozen at the peak of freshness, so it is just as nutritious as fresh choices. Canned fruits and vegetables can be good choices too. For fruits, looked for ones packed in juice, not syrup. For veggies, check for “no added salt” varieties.
- During the summer and fall, check your local farmer's market for produce. These foods are generally better for the environment since they travel less, are good for the local economy, and can be an excellent deal.
- Store brand products are often cheaper and taste as good as brand name products.
- Or, search out coupons for your favorite brand name products. Coupons are available each week in the Sunday paper or available online. You can also contact your favorite companies and ask for them – many will mail you out a few!
I know that the economy has made life more difficult for many of us, and the cost of food is one of the issues you may struggle with. Many of you may be wondering how to still provide healthy meals for your family while sticking to a reasonable food budget. Here are some tips for you: