Other than using coupons (an obvious choice) and shopping at the cheapest grocery store possible, it can be difficult to figure out creative ways to save on grocery shopping.
1. Eat less meat
Meat and poultry are the most expensive line items in any omnivore’s budget and by cutting back in this area, there can be significant cost savings.
You don’t necessarily need to turn vegetarian but instead of having meat three times a day, why not eat it once a day? Or eat less of it at each meal and stretch out what you purchased for more meals?
Another way to eat less meat is to buy and eat items that give you the same satiety as meat such as eggs, beans or mushrooms, and find great vegetarian recipes where you won’t even miss the meat at all.
2. Buy in bulk when things are on sale
Things like meat usually go on sale on a somewhat regular basis., so why not buy it and freeze it? For other staples such as flour or pasta that don’t go bad, buy the products in bulk and save it.
3. Shop for the rawest ingredients possible
This is a fancier way of saying: Avoid prepackaged or processed foods. If you imply purchase the rawest ingredients possible and cook as much as you can from scratch, you can save more money than you think.
Case in point: pizza. Pizza costs perhaps a couple of dollars in ingredients in dough (flour, water, yeast, salt), cheese, sauce, and toppings, and you can make multiple pies for the price of a single premade pizza.
One last example would be things like cake mixes such as pancake mixes – instead of buying it premixed, why not mix all those ingredients ahead of time and store it as your own personally mixed, ready-to-go item? There are plenty of recipes available online and in your mother’s old cookbooks!
4. Avoid name brands
Some things like ketchup just taste better when they’re branded, but can you really tell the difference if it’s salt or vinegar?
Sometimes a name brand is not indicative of its quality, and a no name brand can be equally as good.
5. Don’t fall for items that are essentially sugar with water and full of marketing
One of the items with the biggest markups in the store is juice.
Take orange juice for instance.
Orange juice sold in cartons is not even ‘freshly squeezed orange juice’ as the package claims, it’s really just pre-squeezed orange juice that sits in a vat for months where it loses its flavour (and tastes just like water!) and just before it is sold and packaged as being “freshly squeezed”, they mix in a special chemical concoction called a ‘flavour pack’ to give it the taste of orange juice back.
Companies are not legally obligated to disclose this flavour pack being added to orange juice because technically it is 100% orange juice and the flavour pack is flavoured sugar.
So to get true, freshly squeezed orange juice you could easily squeeze your own fresh orange juice by buying a couple of oranges to do it, and save yourself the cost.
The bottom line is that there are more creative ways to spend less money at a grocery store without just clipping coupons and compromising on the quality of food.
What have you found for good ways to save on grocery shopping?