A recent article on Foodnetwork.com shares Money magazine advice for saving money on groceries. The article says that although most of us have made a grocery budget, it is easy to get sidetracked and go over budget. Life can get hectic and it is easy to buy out of convenience sake. There are some ways to keeping track of your money and still enjoying healthy meals.
The first scenario the article discusses is the savings that some grocery stores offer when you buy several items. What may look like a good deal may not be so good if you cannot use the items. Sometimes when you overbuy, the food goes bad before you get a chance to use it. You are not saving money if you have to throw away the food. The article recommends that you use a shopping list and know what is in your pantry. It also reinforces the old rule of never shopping when you are hungry.
It is no secret that you pay for convenience. Any food that you buy that has saved some work for you will hit you harder in the wallet. Instead of buying ready-made items, the article suggests that you do the work yourself. It is much cheaper if you chop your fruits and veggies yourself. There are also some items that are just as easy to make at home than to pay more for in the grocery store, says the article.
Another temptation that is hard on the food budget is takeout. While it is fine to have an occasional takeout meal when you are really busy, you can spend some serious money if it becomes a habit. The article recommends that you stockpile your pantry and cook some things ahead of time. When times get hectic, you can pull some favorite dish out of the freezer and have it ready in no time.
You can also save money if you consider buying store brands instead of name brand items. The article quotes a 2015 study that says you can trim your grocery bill by a third if you buy store brands. The good news is that they are cheaper and taste just as good.
If you buy organic, says the article, be selective in what you buy. Not only does the Environmental Working Group keep a list of common produce that have the most pesticides, but they also keep a list of those that do not. You do not have to pay extra for these items, says the article.