Shopping on a Budget

Content by: NCES, Inc.

Faced with rising inflation, the importance of budget friendly grocery shopping is at an all time high. Follow along for some money saving tips.

Shopping on a Budget
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1️⃣ Plan
▪️ Make a food budget that is realistic for your household.
▪️ Make a weekly meal plan, and shop for one whole week at a time (this prevents unnecessary trips to the store).
▪️ Review your chosen recipes and take inventory of your kitchen before creating a grocery list to avoid doubling up.
▪️ Prioritize nutritious foods that will keep you full.
▪️ Organize your meal plan to include recipes with overlapping ingredients.
▪️ Have a plan for leftovers: incorporate them into other meals, or freeze.

2️⃣ Smart Shopping
▪️ Browse your favorite store’s website and weekly ads to find the best deals.
▫️ If you have one store you use most frequently, consider downloading their app for deeper discount deals and rewards.
▪️ Make sure to get a membership card at frequently visited stores in order to rack up points, or earn special discounts.
▪️ Choosing store/generic brands over name brands can save up to 10% on your overall bill.
▫️ Store brands are usually on the bottom shelves or top shelves, items at eye level tend to be the most expensive.
▪️ Create a meal plan around store sales.
▫️ Many stores have their layout online.
▪️ Purchase non-perishables in bulk: dry cereal, canned goods, grains, beans.
▪️ Be a smart shopper! Do not purchase sale items if you will not eat them (wasted food does not save you money).

3️⃣ Produce
▪️ Shop seasonally.
▪️ Frozen/canned items have a longer shelf life.
▪️ Plan a way to use all purchased produce! Include it in the meal plan or freeze excess portions.
▪️ Purchase whole foods. Pre-sliced/prepared items charge extra for the convenience factor.

4️⃣ Vary your Proteins
▪️ Meat is often the most expensive ingredient. Look for a sale, and freeze unused portions.
▪️ Consider planning at least one meatless day per week.
▪️ In recipes, try replacing half the protein portion with beans or vegetables.
▪️ Canned meats like tuna and chicken are an affordable lean protein option.