Tips for saving money at supermarkets
Supermarket Save isn't just about finding the cheapest items on sale. It also means preventing impulse purchases caused by tempting food ads or shopping on an empty stomach. Food Waste When food goes bad before being prepared or eaten and is thrown away, it is another money drain. Consider these tips before heading to the market:
- Plan a few meals you want to prepare over the next week and create your shopping list based on those ingredients.
- Consider meat-free meals . Plant-based proteins are nutritious and often cheaper than meat and fish. If you still want to eat meat, adding a small amount as a flavor base or condiment while focusing on plant-based proteins like beans or tofu can save money, increase meal size, and boost nutrition and nutritional enthusiasm.
- Buy foods that will help you feel full . How easy is it to eat half a bag of potato chips in one sitting? In comparison, how many handfuls of nuts or apples can you eat at one time? Although a 3-pound bag of apples may cost $4.00 and a large bag of potato chips costs $2.50, consider which will satisfy your hunger for longer. One study found that eating less food makes people want to eat more often, which may translate into higher food costs.
- Don't shop on an empty stomach . Chew on a piece of fruit or some nuts before entering the store.
- If items like fresh produce or poultry and fish are on sale, be flexible in your shopping list . If they are something you like, you can buy extra and freeze them for later use. Fresh meat, fish, and some produce (bananas, berries, avocados, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, corn) freeze well.
Consider buying non-perishable staples in bulk . Although the upfront cost of purchasing "family size" packaged products (e.g., whole grains, lentils) may be higher, the unit cost is generally cheaper. To determine this, you need to calculate the price per unit: Dried beans and
- Find a common unit of measurement when comparing two products. For example, a bag of brown rice might be measured in pounds.
- Divide the price of rice by the total pounds to get the unit price. For example: A 1-pound bag of Rice A sells for $1.59 ($1.59 per pound), while a 5-pound bag of Rice B sells for $3.99 (approximately $0.80 per pound). Mi B is cheaper.
- Buy generic or store brands : When comparing ingredient lists, you'll notice that similar ingredients are used. Generic brands are often cheaper because less money is spent on advertising and creating fancy food labels.
- Scan the discounted produce shopping cart that's usually in the corner ; it's full of produce that's starting to age, but is still delicious if you can eat it the same day or the next.
- Don't buy highly perishable items that are more than a week old (unless you plan to freeze them) or you run the risk of food spoilage and waste. Learn how to properly store produce to extend shelf life, and be aware of highly perishable items such as ready-to-eat bags of salad greens, mushrooms, berries, avocados and bananas.
Use fresh herbs, spices and green onions . These are key ingredients for delicious meals, and while alliums like onions and garlic have a longer shelf life, supermarket bagged herbs are particularly perishable. Unless the recipe calls for a whole packet, you'll have extra sprigs left over. Careful storage can help extend shelf life (for example, place cilantro in a glass of water and cover with a bag), but if you don't plan to use it within a week, consider other ways to extend its effectiveness. One idea is to chop the herbs and freeze them in ice cube trays filled with olive oil, ready for sautéing vegetables in a pan.
- Another freezer-friendly spice is ginger: store in a ziplock bag and when ready to use, peel and grate as needed (no need to thaw), return the rest to the freezer.
- If you like fresh green onions, you can easily replant them on a sunny windowsill. Place the white root ends in a cup of water (change the water about once a week). Once the green ends grow back, snip off the portion you need and let the rest continue to grow.
- Use what you have first, then buy more . Commit to inventorying all the food in your kitchen twice a month. Come up with buried items and plan meals based on those ingredients.
- Focus on eating . Practicing mindfulness during meals can increase enjoyment of food. You might even be satisfied with smaller portion sizes. Conversely, distracted eating can lead to feeling hungry again more quickly and subsequently consuming more food.
Nutritious and cheap staple food
A combination of fresh and processed foods can make for a healthy shopping list. Processed foods have their advantages and disadvantages, but they should not be labeled exclusively unhealthy because the degree and type of processing can affect nutritional content. For example, processing methods like freezing and canning allow us to stock our refrigerators and pantries with healthy staples like frozen fruits and vegetables, canned fish, and canned beans. That said, when choosing canned or frozen foods, choose options that don't contain extra sodium, sugar or other additives.
Here are some affordable foods that provide a variety of nutrients, including protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals:
- Beans, peas, lentils (dried, frozen, canned)
- Canned fish (tuna, salmon, sardines)
- Ground turkey 90% lean meat
- Skin-on chicken thighs (cheaper than skinless chicken thighs, but the skin can be removed before cooking)
- peanut butter
- low fat cheese
- Green leafy vegetables (kale, kale)
- Whole lettuce or cabbage
- fresh carrots
- fresh apple
- fresh banana
- Any fresh produce for sale
- frozen unsweetened fruit
- Unsalted frozen or canned vegetables
Whole grains and pasta
- Regular store brand high fiber cereals (regular cracked wheat, bran)
- whole rolled oats
- Whole grains, dry (brown rice, millet, barley, bulgur)
- whole wheat pasta
- Dry popcorn kernels cooking in air popcorn machine
- cheese sticks
low sodium seasoning
- Sodium-free herbs (cumin, curry, thyme, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder) and herb blends
- Canned low-sodium tomato sauce
- Olive oil and other liquid vegetable oils