Grocery shopping on a budget is certainly a concern millennials face when looking to save money on food. Perhaps you’re struggling to find a job. Or, maybe you’re trying to save for a house, or think you spend too much on your weekly shopping. Luckily, food shopping on a budget is possible, and can be healthy too! This guide will introduce a few ways for you to cut costs to ensure you are still eating healthy, even on a budget.
Getting Started Grocery Shopping on A Budget
The first thing you can do to save money shopping for groceries is to create a budget. Indeed, you’ll save money grocery shopping when you create a food plan. The plan is what you’ll eat every breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the week.
When you go food shopping without a plan, you are likely to pick up things that won’t get used. Or worse, thrown away. For this to work, it’s important to have everything you need to create meals for the week, in advance.
A food plan will reduce the costs while also reducing the amount of food going to waste. Once you’ve started, planning your meals will feel like second nature. And, you won’t have to worry about deciding what you are cooking throughout the week!
Don’t Go Food Shopping Hungry
This one doesn’t require much effort at all! To save money, make sure you don’t go food shopping when you’re hungry. Regardless of your budget, shopping with a detailed grocery list, ensures you don’t go off track if you are hungry. You are unlikely to reach for cheaper and healthier options if you are craving food, so this could impact your health and your wallet! Aim to go food shopping just after you have eaten to help you stay on track and save money for other things.
Related Article: How to Create an Emergency Fund.
Use What You Have In The Cupboards
A great way to save money on weekly food shopping is to check what you already have in the cupboards. It’s surprising how easy it is to create meals using leftover ingredients that you didn’t think you’d be able to use. For example, you might have some stale bread lying around and some old mushrooms in the fridge. You could blitz up the bread with some oil and seasoning to make great breadcrumbs for a delicious baked mushroom dish.
Or, you might have some broccoli leftover that won’t get used. You could add the broccoli and combine with seasoning, a potato or two, some of your homemade breadcrumbs. And, be sure to add some cheddar cheese for lovely (and healthy) broccoli tots. All it takes is a bit of creativity, and you can make delicious recipes without buying anything new. Indeed, a casserole is a great way to stretch the food budget once in a while.
Reduce The Amount of Individual Products You Buy
When you go grocery shopping, you can stick to your budget and save money by reducing the number of individual products you buy. Now, this can mean a few different things. Firstly, purchase items in bulk or packs of multiples because they are usually cheaper than the individual or small packets. Rather than buying four individual tins of baked beans for $1.50, purchase a pack of four cans for $5, saving you a buck. While it may not sound like a lot, imagine if you saved that dollar on every item in while grocery shopping, and invested it?
Related Article: How to Invest In Stocks.
Also, look for products that offer multiple things in one product rather than shopping separately. For example, buy multivitamins rather than five different individual vitamins. Or, buy mixed frozen summer berries instead of fresh strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. And, get all-in-one washing tablets rather than detergent and softener separately. Spend some time looking at what the shop has to offer, and you’ll be able to easily cut unnecessary.
Consider No Name Products
While it may be tempting to shop for branded foods, you won’t save much money doing so. Supermarket brand (no name) products offer fantastic quality and are usually much cheaper than the branded version. There have been plenty of blind taste tests involving supermarkets like Aldi. For example, people get asked to taste two products. The results show that people love the supermarkets’ brand.
Don’t be afraid to give it a try. Store brand products are almost always half the price of the branded version. Indeed, it’s an easy way to cut your food costs in half immediately, making your grocery shopping on a budget easy to do! You won’t have to compromise on quality while you are also saving money that you can use to pay down debt!
Related Article: How to Get Out of a Debt Spiral
Healthy Options Don’t Have To Be Costly
When you look at your receipt after grocery shopping, the budget killing items will likely be meat. You don’t need to cut meat out altogether, but aiming to eat 3-4 healthy, vegetarian evening meals a week will reduce your shop’s cost. In the UK at Asda, two chicken breasts will set you back $4.75, while a large packet of meat-free chicken-style bites cost just $1.75. Not only will you save money, but cutting back will ensure you are doing your bit for the environment, too.
Related Read: Live the Zero Waste Lifestyle
Head To The Reduced Section
The best way to enjoy the foods you love at a discounted price is to head to the supermarket’s reduced section. You will find some fantastic deals on delicious and more ‘luxury’ foods still in excellent condition. The packaging usually recommends eating the product on the same day that it’s bought. Or, perhaps the day after. But, don’t forget, you can freeze them the day you buy them.
Related Article: How to Save Money When you Have a Low Income
Cook in Bulk and Freeze Leftovers
As discussed previously, grocery shopping in bulk is usually a cheaper, budget friendly option. If you’re buying ingredients for chili, for example, consider buying in bulk. A large pack of ground beef and sauce will cost less, per meal, than buying smaller portions. You can then buy freezable tubs, fill them with your meals, and label them with the contents and date before freezing.
As a millennial, your life is probably busy. So it’s essential to have meals stacked away in the freezer ready for days when you are short of time. As you continue to cook in bulk, week after week, you’ll build up various meals. This way, you aren’t stuck with the same meal every time. Just one tip, make sure you have plenty of freezer space before you start bulk cooking!
Opt for Frozen Fruit and Vegetables
Another fantastic way to get better value for money is by buying frozen fruit and vegetables. You can buy frozen mango and berries for smoothies or crumbles. Or, frozen butternut squash and peppers for a delicious soup. And, don’t forget lovely garden peas to go in pasta dishes, salads, or pies. The best part is aside from saving money grocery shopping, less food will go to waste.
Related Read: How To Get Out of Debt in 2021
Grocery Shopping on a Budget FAQ
Sam’s club is a grocery store that sells items in bulk, direct to the consumer. Consumers save by buying multiples of the same item.
Canadians can save money on groceries by meal planning, and only buy what they need. If the consumer has a larger family, a store that sells in bulk, such as Costco, may be a better choice to save money.
The best way for consumers to save money on groceries is to start by planning meals, one week in advance. Consumers can then buy the ingredients for the week, cook their meals, perhaps on a weekend, and consume the food in the coming days.
So, there you have it! Saving money grocery shopping is possible and can be healthy! Also, it offers an ideal lesson in millennial financial literacy that doesn’t have to be boring in any way. These tips will help you to think differently about how you shop while also enjoying the food you love. Then, you can invest the money you have saved in fantastic ways, no doubt!