Reign over that high grocery bill. KENS 5 offers simple ways to stretch your food budget.
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – You may have noticed that your grocery bill also goes up as inflation rises.
You already buy generics and save with sales. Still, there are other ways to lower your grocery bill, and you don’t have to go to great lengths to pocket a few extra pennies.
“I think there’s a way to save on every level,” said Christina, the savings educator behind Save with Christina. “Not everyone is going to do everything I do. I totally understand that I’m extreme.
#1: Buy seasonal fruits and vegetables.
“Whatever farmers are harvesting right now, those are the items you want to buy,” Christina said. “If you don’t know what’s in season, look at what’s on sale at the grocery store.”
Stock up for later in the year by buying seasonal fruits and vegetables and freezing them.
Need something out of season? Look at the alternatives.
“If you have a recipe that uses corn, you can buy some corn on the cob,” Christina said. “This [ear of corn] is $0.52. Corn is out of season right now. You can take a can of corn as I think it was just $0.78 for the can, still a bit cheaper. Another option you can look at is frozen. This one I believe was $1.18. So if I have a recipe calling for corn, this [can] going to be my cheapest option.
It sounds like a lot of math, but you don’t have to do the math yourself.
#2: Bigger is not always better
The store makes it easy for you to find out the most affordable option by indicating the unit price. It’s on the price tag but it’s usually super small and can be hard to read.
“Normally just below the price is the unit price or the price per ounce,” Christina said. “You can very easily compare products to see which one is the cheapest.”
You’ve heard that bigger is usually cheaper. Throw away that tip. The greatest element is not always less. Use the unit price to see which size is the cheapest.
“That one-pound bag of rice was just a little cheaper than the two-pound bag of rice,” Christina said. “So even if I needed two books, buy two of this [the smaller one] going to save me more money than just buying the bigger one.
You can see that the one pound bag of HEB long grain white rice is 4.50 cents as the price per ounce.
But looking at the two pound bag of the same product, you can see the price per ounce slightly higher at 4.56 cents.
#3: Buy food on sale, which you can already do, but then double the recipe you make with it.
“I don’t like to cook and I certainly don’t like having to clean up a mess,” Christina said.
This tip helps you cut down on cooking and cleaning.
“Double this recipe and freeze the other half to use later,” she said. “This way you save time and money.”
#4: Do the work yourself.
Prepared items will always cost a bounty.
“You’re going to pay more for any food that’s been marinated, cut-to-go, already diced or sliced, or had the fat removed from larger cuts of meat,” he said. Andrea Woroch, a smart shopping expert. “Buy meat that contains fat. You don’t need a lot of time to prepare. You are going to prepare it anyway. So spend a few more minutes and help you save.
“We can buy a bell pepper for $0.64 or I can buy a tiny package of pre-diced bell peppers,” Christina said. “I mean it was almost $2.”
You can see this price difference in the pictures below:
This also applies to pre-made items in the bakery.
“It’s one of the domains that has the highest markup,” Woroch said. “It’s because you’re paying for the convenience. It is already prepared and cooked for you. The reality is that many of these baked goods are very inexpensive to bake yourself, such as cupcakes, cookies, and even basic cakes.
The exception to this rule is if prepared foods are on sale.
“Because once this vegetable is cut, it will spoil faster,” Christina said. “The store is going to mark down these pre-cut products because they want to sell them before they reach their expiration date. It’s a way to save on convenience items, just take a quick look at this section and see if they have that nice clearance sticker on them. Then you save yourself the work and probably get it even cheaper than if you bought the vegetable and had to cut it yourself.
Baked goods that require professional decorating will also be cheaper at a grocery store bakery than at a stand-alone bakery.
#5: Use the self-service checkout at the grocery store.
“I think it has something to do with you now handling the items and being careful, and then looking at the prices and realizing you’re spending a lot more than you planned,” Woroch said. “When you go to see the cashier checking you out, he might be chatting, you might be looking at other things. Then you realize at the end, when you have to insert your credit card into the machine, how much you are actually spending.
#6: The size of your basket can be equal to the size of your invoice.
“If you shop with a basket, you’re more likely to fill it with food you don’t need,” Woroch said. “It looks empty when you only have your essentials in there. I love going to the store and grabbing the hand basket. It’s smaller. It really helps me stick to it. essentials I need and to avoid unnecessary purchases. »
#7: Consider shopping online.
“Sometimes the food per item may cost a little more to compensate for the fact that they have to ship the item to you or you may incur some shipping costs,” Woroch said. “What you’re really doing is restricting what you’re buying because there’s no temptation to make you buy food you don’t need. In fact, grocery stores make nearly 50% of their profits from people’s impulse purchases. If you can reduce these impulse purchases, which is easier to do by shopping online, you can really reduce your grocery shopping.
Take a test. Buy groceries online for a month and compare the price to what you spent the previous month when you shopped in-store. Also, look for coupons to reduce the cost of online services.
#8: Join your store’s online loyalty program.
This will give you access to digital coupons, special promotions, cashback offers or rewards depending on the store.
Small changes can lead to big savings over time.