Grocery shopping isn’t a laughing matter. Fail to treat it seriously and it’s all too easy to spend way more than you meant to.
Not to mention the possibility of getting hangry.
That’s where our money-saving tips below come into the picture.
Our hunger games edition tips will teach you how to save money on food the easiest way.
Save Money on Food: Plan Ahead
If there’s one tip you remember, let it be this: always make a plan before you head to the grocery store.
A detailed grocery list contains exactly what you need (and only what you need). It greatly reduces the likelihood that you’ll put items into your cart that you don’t need.
Create your grocery list based on your food needs, weekly meal plan, and budget.
Look in the fridge, freezer, and pantry to see what you already have so you don’t buy unnecessary repeats.
Though an old fashioned paper grocery list is always effective, more people than ever before are going shopping with digital lists, according to Mother Nature Network.
Grocery Pal is another powerful app that actually lets you write your grocery list while checking out the current sales and coupons from the top stores in your area.
Save Money on Food: Think Healthy
Healthy eating isn’t just better for your body – new research shows it’s also better for your bank account.
According to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, a healthy diet helps reduce your food budget, especially for families.
Another study from the Harvard School of Public Health backs up the claim that there is a big difference in the cost-effectiveness of eating healthy and eating unhealthy.
One of the best things you can do is cut out nutritionally-empty foods. These are foods like soda, candy, and chips that pack in the calories without providing much in the way of nutrition.
Check out Greatist for a list of the top 44 healthy foods for under $1 for some ideas to get you started.
Save Money on Food: Limit Eating Out
Perhaps the easiest way how to save money on food is to prepare most of your food yourself.
In other words, limit how much you eat out.
Pack lunches the majority of the time and restrict dinners out to special events. It’s amazing how much money you can save simply by changing your eating habits regarding meals out.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln also suggests that packing your own brown bag lunch is much healthier than going out for lunch.
Save Money on Food: Choose Generic Brands
If you’re still wondering how to save money on food, another good tip is to choose generic brands.
The AARP states that generic brands save you money. They’re just as safe and just as high of quality as most name brands.
In fact, many generic brands are bought from the same companies that supply name brands. In essence, they’re the same exact product in a different package.
Of course, it’s still wise to check labels as there are exceptions.
Look at the ingredient list to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. WebMD gives canned tomatoes as a good example.
You should select the brand that has tomatoes first on the ingredient list rather than water.
Some of the most commonly asked money-related questions are about how to save money on food. Yet the answers are some of the least commonly followed.
Create a grocery list (/meal plan), eat healthy, limit eating out, and go generic to save the most money on food possible.
Even incorporating one or two of these tips at a time has a big financial impact.