One of the most expensive necessities in life is food. Our monthly grocery bills, especially for families with growing children, can add up to more than $700 monthly. While we all want nutritious, quality food to nourish our bodies to stay healthy, some of us compromise because we think we can’t buy quality food on a budget. Unfortunately, this misconception can lead to a dependence on heavily processed food, fast food, and sugary snacks. However, with a shift in perspective and shopping habits, it is possible to spend wisely at the grocery store and invest in nutritious and delicious options.
Here are five habits to consider when stocking up on food for your house:
Create a Grocery List
Creating a detailed grocery list of the foods needed to plan your meals will prevent you from straying off course and filling your shopping cart with impulse buys, such as chips, cookies, and frozen desserts. Mindful food shopping means buying more meals and fewer snack items that are less fulfilling than hearty meals. In addition, allocating a specific amount of money before arriving at the supermarket will keep you focused and on budget.
Buy Fruits and Vegetables That Are in Season
Fruits and vegetables are a staple of health and nutrition. They have essential vitamins and phytochemicals that supply our bodies with the energy needed to thrive. Recently, shoppers are cutting corners due to soaring prices as a result of droughts, climate change, and inflation. Vegetables and fruits are cheaper when they are in season. A sensible way to reduce costs is to plan meals and even learn new recipes that incorporate what’s in season. Rather than it being a chore, have fun trying new recipes and broadening your meal choices by reading food blogs and swapping recipes with friends.
Visit your Local Farmer’s Market
Your local farmer’s market is bursting with fresh, nutritious foods. Farmer’s markets are frequently cheaper than chain grocery stores because vendors bring their products directly to you instead of supermarkets that increase prices for profit. Removing the middleman and getting your food straight from the source can save you significant money on your monthly grocery bill. Plus, you are supporting local businesses and eating fresher produce that will last longer.
Buy Frozen or Canned Foods
If the fruits and vegetables are too expensive to make your favorite recipes, consider buying them in the frozen or canned food aisle. Both are nutritious and can be more cost-efficient than the produce aisle. Be sure to read the labels to avoid additives such as sugar or salt. When using canned veggies, rinse them before using them to remove any sodium.
Check out the Reduced Prices Section
Most grocery stores have a ‘Reduced Prices’ section. There are many reasons why certain foods end up in this section. Some might have an upcoming due date or a slight bruise. These items are far from inedible and are often suitable for cooking or baking. For example, you can make delicious soups with them or use ripe bananas for a delicious loaf of banana bread. If you know you will use the food in the next day or so, buying groceries with an upcoming due date is ideal. For example, reduced-priced bread is perfect for avocado toast in the morning and sandwiches for lunch. A medium-sized family will consume a loaf of bread sooner than it will expire.