How to save money on groceries - Refresh Financial

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If You’ve Lost Your Income, Here’s How To Save on Your Grocery Bill

Save money on groceries

It feels like food is just getting more and more expensive, doesn’t it? And if you've lost your income due to COVID-19, it can sometimes seem impossible to stretch your dollars to feed your family. Food is expensive. It’s probably one of the biggest expenses in every family household. Thankfully, there are ways to make our food consumption a little less expensive though.

Here are 8 ways to save money on groceries:

Schedule your meals

Make a menu. When we are unprepared and hungry, we tend to opt for quick and easy. The problem is that quick and easy often means expensive. At least, more expensive than we have to accept. The best way to prevent spending on more expensive food sources is to plan out our less expensive food choices. Planning also helps us to ensure that everything we buy is consumed, rather than thrown out. Food is money, so when you’re throwing it away, you’re throwing money away, too.

Go Vegetarian

No, not for every meal, but for some, why not eliminate meat altogether? Meat is the most expensive part of most meals and sometimes it’s totally unnecessary. For instance, if you’re having a lasagna, leave the ground beef out. Right there, you could be saving as much as $10 on just one meal. There are loads of satisfying vegetarian recipes out there that your family will love, too. Just find the ones they like and you’ll be saving a ton!

Collect Loyalty Points

Make sure you’re shopping at a place that gives out loyalty points. Especially if you can spend those points on groceries in the future. Always have your card on hand and if you accidentally forget, keep your receipt and make sure you collect the points the next time you’re in the store. You’d be amazed how fast these points accumulate and how quickly you can do an entire grocery shop for free. It’s even faster if you get a credit card that offers the same points on all your purchases.

Buy in Bulk

If you have access to a a wholesale store like Costco, grab some of your most common items in bulk. You’re going to get them at a pretty significant discount. The key here is only to buy things at Costco that you would have bought anyway - many people end up buying loads of stuff they don’t often use or don’t need and wind up overspending. Just grab what you already had on your list and get out! Even if you’ve spotted the most amazing price on something you’ve ever seen, it’s no reason to buy it. You have to consider whether or not this is something that you need. Are you going to eat this? Does it fit into your menu? Will you end up throwing it away? Stay away from sweets and junk food - there’s not a person on earth who needs these items. If you stick with your list, you’ll always spend less.

Buy Local

Locally grown produce, locally produced eggs, milk, cheese, and meat can sometimes be cheaper. It’s going to be even cheaper if you buy it directly from the farmer themselves. If you live in or around a farming community, take advantage of it! You will save money and get higher quality products.

Fill up on Pasta, Beans, Rice and Potatoes

These foods are all super filling and barely cost anything. They just seem to keep going and going and going. Plus, when well-planned, these can all be the basis of some pretty nutritional meals. And they all seem to taste even better reheated in the microwave for lunch the next day, too.

Forget brand names

Opt for cheaper in-store brands. Canola oil is canola oil, whether it’s a yellow No-Name label or not. When you choose the brand name, often you are paying for a logo, and a colourful label and that’s all. While quality differences can be detected in some products, ask yourself, what is most important? The highest quality orange juice or a secure financial future? Trust me, you will not miss the brand name juice when you see your financial situation improve.

Take advantage of sales

Centre your meal planning around what proteins are on sale. If you often have beef tacos in the menu rotation, but chicken breasts are on sale this week, switch it up! You might even like your new recipe more! You can also keep your eyes peeled for bonus points events so you can collect even more rewards points. The best way to stay on top of these things is to subscribe to your grocery store's email newsletter, Twitter, and Facebook. You’ll be the first to know about all the sales that way, and in a better position to take advantage of them.

Getting organized with your food spending is the key to making sure you’re not overspending and throwing away food. Every little helps when families are struggling through a financial crisis as large as the coronavirus pandemic, but these tips ought to help you keep your grocery bills to a minimum.

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