Most Important Things To Do To Save Money On Food

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Groceries have gotten crazy expensive. Everything has increased in price – eggs, beans, grains, snacks.  So many of us are trying to reach financial goals but find that the food budget really eats up a lot of money every month.

With inflation and food getting more expensive, I’ve done everything I can to save money on groceries and I’m here to help you do the same.

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Here’s a list of the most important things to do to save money on food.

Freezing food 

One of the best ways to save money on food is by using less of it and you use less of it by never wasting food. Instead of throwing out leftovers, freeze them. 

There are many ways to freeze food like storing them into food storage containers or ziplocks. There are also storage containers specifically designed for storing food in the freezer called Souper Cubes. 

Souper Cubes are game changers for saving food, cooking less, and cutting down on meal prep time. If you’re someone who tends to make big meals and has leftovers, souper cubes are convenient. You simply store the leftover food into these storage cubes and stick them in the freezer.

When you’re ready to eat your food, you pop the food out of the cube and heat it up. These cubes are dishwasher safe, BPA free, made from 100% FDA food grade silicone and oven save up to 415 degrees F.

 

Meal planning

Meal planning is a convenient way to save time, money, and food. Cooking can get really overwhelming when you’re all over the place with what you’re going to eat and if you have the food in the fridge. 

$5 Meal Plan is an affordable way to overcome all of these challenges. $5 Meal Plan is a meal planning service that sends you a delicious meal plan and shopping list every single week for just $5 a month. The plans are designed by Erin Chase of $5 Dinners and she’s able to make each meal for less than five dollars.

Get a free 14-day meal plan here.

Example of a meal plan:

Monday – Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Tuesday – Breakfast, eat yesterday’s dinner for lunch, dinner

Wednesday – Breakfast, eat yesterday’s dinner for lunch, dinner

and so on. 

We keep things super simple in our house by eating a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, and a large dinner. We only eat twice a day. 

Our money-saving meal plan looks something like this:

Daily – Breakfast: Oatmeal Dinner: Pasta, stir fry, burritos, tacos

Instant Pot

Want to save money, time, and cook in bulk? Instant Pots are where it’s at. With an Instant Pot, you can pressure cook, slow cook, cook rice, make yogurt, steam food, sauté, sterilize, or warm food. There are even quick one-touch cooking programs for foods like ribs, soups, beans, rice, poultry, yogurt, desserts, and more.

I find my favorite cheap Instant Pot recipes on Pinterest. Do a quick Pinterest search of “Instant Pot + cheap recipes” and you’ll find a ton of recipes that are easy and affordable to make. 

Once you’re done eating, store your Instant Pot leftovers in the Souper Cubes that I mentioned earlier. 

Clearance shelves

Almost every grocery store has a clearance section, some even have two clearance sections. At my local grocery store, the clearance section is all the way in the back of the store. 

What’s great about clearance items is not only are they are on clearance, but they might have an in-app coupon too. For example, Starbucks whole coffee beans were on sale for 50% off in the clearance section, but there was also an in-app coupon, so I stacked coupons and it made a $10 bag of coffee turn into a $4.50 bag of coffee.

The bakery section also has a clearance area. Baked goods are usually so cheap to begin with, making the clearance area so much cheaper. 

Download the grocery store app

Most grocery stores have an app with a deals or coupon section. I find the best savings in these grocery store apps and oftentimes there are freebies listed. It’s beneficial to sign up for a grocery store rewards card (they should always be free).

So anytime you check out at the store, you put in your number and get a bunch of savings.

Use a cash back app

Ibotta is a cash back app that helps you save money on a ton of things including groceries. For example, they may have a cash back offering on avocados where you buy 6 avocados and get $.50 back. There’s also cash back for things like toilet paper, dish soap, shampoo and conditioner, etc. 

Sign up for Ibotta here.

This can be a bit time consuming and you have to plan out your shopping a little bit more. I’m not the best at using cash back apps because of this, but the savings can definitely be worth it.

Buy generic 

Tons of grocery items have a generic option. We buy the following things generic instead of name brand: milk, cereal, oatmeal, beans, frozen veggies, cheese, vegan meats, pasta, etc. 

After doing a quick search online, I price compared a few grocery items from the generic item to the brand name item.

A 16 oz box of whole wheat pasta at Target is $1 whereas the same box of pasta is $2.50 for name brand.

A box of Corn Flakes store brand is $2.50 whereas the same box of name brand Corn Flakes is $5. 

Photo by Marissa Grootes on Unsplash

Visit a different grocery store

So many of us have been going to the same grocery store forever. You may want to venture out to other grocery stores to see if you can get a better deal. For example, I find that stores like Albertsons, Sprouts, and sometimes even Target are out of my budget. The best affordable grocery stores that I love are: Aldi’s, Von’s, Walmart and Trader Joe’s. 

I like to price compare food items online and see which grocery store is selling it for the best deal. 

Only buy certain things organic

EWG has a shoppers guide that lists the “Dirty Dozen” of foods you should buy organic. Organic food is typically more expensive than non-organic, but it’s worth it for your health in the long-term.

Dirty dozen list includes

  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Kale, collard and mustard greens
  • Nectarines
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Bell and hot peppers
  • Cherries
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes

EWG also has the “Clean 15” which is a list of foods that you do not need to be worried about buying organic.

  • Avocados
  • Sweet corn
  • Pineapple
  • Onions
  • Papaya
  • Sweet peas (frozen) 
  • Eggplant
  • Asparagus
  • Cauliflower
  • Cantaloupe
  • Broccoli
  • Mushroom 
  • Cabbage
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Kiwi

Key takeaways

  • Freezing food
  • Meal planning
  • Kitchen tools
  • Clearance shelves
  • Download the grocery store app
  • Use coupons
  • Use a cash back app
  • Buy generic 
  • Visit a different grocery store
  • Only buy certain things organic

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