Every family has their own unique food budget, but the following tips are great ways for every family to save more and learn how to spend less on groceries each week without compromising on quality or choosing organic if that is something that is important to you.
How To Spend Less On Groceries Without Compromising On Quality
We’ve had many different food budgets over the years, especially as our family has grown, but something I learned early on as a nutrition grad student on a very fixed budget was that there are some tricks for how to spend less on groceries that work no matter where you live or what your budget may be.
9 Tips For How To Spend Less On Groceries (Even Organic!)
I know you have heard it all before, but honestly this is probably the biggest player for how to spend less on groceries. On the weeks when we haven’t planned our meals we have spent double or even triple what we do when we plan ahead. Not planning your meals for the week ahead of time is also a sure fire way to waste money in food that goes bad in your fridge because you didn’t have a plan for it.
So my advice to those of you out there still fighting the meal planning wagon, hop on because it really will save you a lot of money, and time wondering what you should make for dinner.
Make A Shopping List
Along the lines of planning ahead, going to the grocery store without a shopping list is another way that you will probably end up spending more than you wanted to and end up with a bunch of items that you didn’t really need or may not use. So if you really want to get serious about how to spend less on groceries, then going into the grocery store with a list in hand is essential!
Shop Your Local Farmers Markets
Local farmers markets will always be some of the best places to find more affordably priced produce, meat, and fish. These markets run based off the seasons and by selling direct to the consumer farmers can often offer prices that are less than what you would pay in a grocery store. This is also a great way to access organic produce more affordably, and you have the added benefit of supporting your local food system.
Buy What Is On Sale And In Season For Meat and Fish
Buying sustainably raised meat and wild caught fish is something that is very important to our family and something we never compromise on. With that said, expanding your horizons when it comes to the type of meat and fish you purchase can really help you save money on meat and fish. For example, purchasing a locally caught fish (if you live in a coastal community) will almost always cost less than the popular wild caught salmon from Alaska that everyone wants.
Learn How To Can
Canning is a great way to preserve food and is so much easier to do then you may think. Canning helps us to save a lot of money on food year round by purchasing local produce when it is in season and then canning it for things like marinara sauce, homemade apple sauce, canned peaches, homemade chicken broth, and so much more.
Just make sure when you are learning how to can that you purchase a reputable book like the Ball Blue Book Guide To Preserving
Invest In A Deep Freezer For Bulk Food Storage
Investing in a deep freezer is a great way to buy seasonal produce and other items like meat and fish in bulk, and then store it for longer term use. For example, every summer we will go berry picking a few times and then freeze pounds and pounds of local blueberries and strawberries to use in smoothies or baked goods throughout the winter. This really helps to reduce our desire to buy berries out of season (and at a premium price) in the winter months, while still being able to enjoy some of our favorite fruits all year round.
Buy What Is In Season
Buying what is in season is always going to be the most economical. So rather than sticking with the same 10 different fruits and vegetables all year round, think about shaping your recipes based on what is available at your local farmers market. I know that for those of us that live in cold climates the winter months can be really hard to find foods that are in season. This is when joining a winter CSA can be really helpful for accessing locally grown produce, or utilizing the
Buy in Bulk
One of the best ways to save money when grocery shopping is to buy in bulk. This goes for spices, nuts, grains, coffee, etc. We typically will buy a huge bag of brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, nuts, seeds, etc. and then will use those bulk items to make things like nut butter, dairy free milk, oat flour etc. at home.
During the weeks that we need to re-load on our bulk food items we are definitely going to end up spending more than usual, but typically that only happens once every few months.
Thrive Market is a great healthy online food retailer that requires an annual membership (similar to costco or BJs) and provides some significant cost saving to their members. Most of what you will find on Thrive Market are shelf stable food items like canned foods, kids snacks, baking supplies, grains, etc.
Personally, I have found the yearly membership to be well worth it and when I use Thrive Market to purchase most of our higher quality canned foods (like tuna), packaged snack foods, gluten free baking supplies I can’t find locally in bulk, and our kids snacks we end up saving a lot of money!