There are some things it’s fun to spend money on. For me, groceries aren’t one of them. I need good, healthy food to eat, and I enjoy cooking (a habit I developed during the pandemic). But what I don’t enjoy is going to the grocery store and busting my budget on food. The good news is, I’ve discovered a few techniques that let me save time and save money on groceries.
First and foremost, I always use a credit card that gives me rewards for buying groceries. But I’ve also gone beyond that to develop some other time-saving approaches to eat healthier, spend less time shopping, and keep more money in my bank account. Here’s what they are.
1. Bulk buying when an item is on sale
There are some staples I purchase all the time in my house, such as canned tomatoes and salad dressing. These items generally go on sale every six to eight weeks.
When they do, I buy enough to last me until the next sale comes around. This means I’m always paying the rock-bottom price for them. And I also only have to buy them every few weeks instead of every single time I go to the grocery store. That means there are fewer items I have to remember to add to my cart every week.
2. Batch cooking
Although I enjoy cooking, I don’t always have a lot of time to do it. As a result, when I’m making a meal, I often double or even triple the recipe if I know it freezes well. On days when I am going to be too busy to make a meal from scratch, I just pull one of my pre-prepared items out of the freezer.
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This saves me time because it’s not much more difficult to cook several batches of a meal than it is to cook a single batch of it. It also saves me money because I am less tempted to buy convenience foods or to order out. After all, why would I need to buy frozen foods or spend money on take-out when I have a freezer full of good home-cooked meals waiting for me?
3. Joining a CSA
For several years, my husband and I have been part of a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. This means that during the summer months, our local farm prepares a bag of fruits and vegetables for us every week. We then pick these up at a location that’s convenient to our neighborhood.
This saves me time and effort because the CSA sends me recipes along with my fruits and veggies so I don’t have to plan side dishes for my meals. It also saves me money because it’s cheaper to get my organic produce from the CSA than from the grocery store. And I get to help out a small local farm, which is a major bonus.
Following these three techniques shows you don’t have to eat unhealthy foods to make grocery shopping less expensive. And freeing up a little extra cash for your savings doesn’t always have to be a hassle. It’s possible to both improve your life by saving time and to reduce your grocery costs if you’re smart about the hacks you implement. If you’re interested in cutting your grocery costs, see if you could try out some of these steps yourself.
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