Grocery saving tips: XL edition

Grocery shopping is a hot topic both for budgeting and organization purposes. There's a lot of money to be saved when going to the store, so here's your comprehensive guide to making the best out of your grocery shopping. 

As with almost everything, to succeed you need to have a plan. Monthly grocery shopping is no exception. If you are used to everyday or weekly shopping, then it might take some time before you get used to it, but switching to grocery shopping on a monthly basis is definitely a good idea. Not only because it will save you money, but also because it will save you time.

What’s it all about?

Monthly grocery shopping is just exactly what it sounds: planning what you need to buy for an entire month. It doesn’t mean you can’t run to the store if you run out of milk, but it does mean that you will get the majority of your items only once a month. And that is why it requires some detailed planning.

Why is this a good idea?

You have probably experienced how stressful it can be to get home after a long busy day and realize you need to go out again because your fridge is empty. When you buy on a monthly basis, you minimize this. Of course, one day you might be out of apples or milk, but chances are you will always have something available for you to eat.

What’s the strategy?

So, the best approach is dedicating one day each month, the whole day and then that’s it until it’s time to do it again. The key is to make a list of all those things you normally use and then buying in bulk. Consider buying things that will allow you to meal prep and fill your freezer with home-made food. 

The first thing you will notice when you switch to monthly buying is that you can cut your grocery spending almost by half if you shop in a smart way. And you will also have one less thing to worry about day after day.

So, even in it can be time-consuming because you will have to spend a whole day at the store and then storing or meal-prepping, in the long run you will notice that you have a lot more spare time than with other grocery shopping methods.

CHECK OUT IMPERFECT FOODS

Imperfect Foods was born in 2015 with a solid goal: to build a better food system for everyone by eliminating food waste. They simultaneously help producers, consumers and, well, the planet. You can buy all sorts of healthy, seasonal products that are qualified as “imperfect” and therefore rejected by grocery stores. Compared to store prices, they charge up to 30% less!

There are different reasons why food might be considered “imperfect”. Maybe some fruits and vegetables don’t look as good on the outside as stores expect them to do. This doesn’t mean that they taste bad!

There’s also possible that many products don’t qualify the specifications set by the buyers because they get light bumps or cracks during the harvesting or packaging process. Imperfect Foods rescues these products, which are perfectly good to eat but aren’t as aesthetically pleasing.

Many stores refrain from stocking products whose expiration date is near. They’re called “short-coded” and usually go to waste. You can choose from a list of 30 to 40 produce items and 160 grocery staples on a weekly basis.

You can customize your weekly grocery list with both organic and traditional products. You’ll receive a text when they’re delivered at your doorstep. If you want to know whether this company delivers in your state, enter your ZIP code on their website.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Imperfect Foods may experience some delivery delays, but they’re following all sanitary procedures in order to cover the high demands. They’ve taken some extra safety measures, such as not ringing your bell and not receiving back any Imperfect boxes, which they encourage customers to recycle.

STICK TO HOMEMADE

Groceries are an important item in every home’s budget. Surely, you've heard about some tricks to avoid overspending in supermarkets, such as not going hungry or skipping snack shelves. But there are other pieces of advice to add that will help you save more money with little effort.

First of all, don't fall into the temptation of buying pre-made foods. They can look amazing in the pictures and have nice packagings, but surely they cost twice as much as the same separate ingredients. How hard can it be to cook rice with vegetables?  

Secondly, avoid canned beans and vegetables. A pack of dried beans is much cheaper and it's very easy to cook them. They’ll even taste better than the canned ones!

Pre-cut fruits? Come on! Why pay for a tray with pre-cut watermelon, apple, mango and oranges when you can save money by doing it by yourself? If you buy fresh fruit, you can keep them in the fridge and cut them in the moment of consumption. Their vitamins will remain intact and you'll know for sure that they don't have any preservatives.

This advice also applies to pre-washed vegetables. They’re more expensive than the regular ones even though the only difference is that you have to put them underwater before making a salad!

If you want to go a little further in your grocery savings, you can start your own herb garden. No matter how much space you have, you can grow parsley, thyme, rosemary, ciboulette and other herbs. They’re excellent allies when cooking!

 

See also: "Become an Extreme Couponer!"

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