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There’s no doubt you’ve noticed the increase in prices at the grocery store, but there are some tricks to help you keep your costs down. Here are some grocery hacks that you can use to help cut those costs, maybe even by as much as half.
1. Create A Meal Plan
One simple way to save on your groceries is to plan your meals ahead of time. Decide which meals you want to have for the week and look at what ingredients you will need to get from the grocery store to make them. Remember to shop your kitchen first.
2. Make a List
Once you have decided on what you would like to eat for the week, it’s time to make your grocery list for the store. Remember to shop your freezer, fridge, and pantry first. You might already have everything you need for some of your meals, which can cut your costs at the store.
3. Buy Generic
You can save a lot of money by purchasing generic products instead of national brands. In most cases, these generic items are just as good or better than the national brand versions. Sometimes, it’s even the exact same product with a different label on it.
4. Shop the Sales
One really great way to save on your grocery bill is to shop sales. If you watch the weekly sales paper for your local grocers for a while, you will begin to notice a pattern. Once you know the pattern, you can stock your pantry and freezer when items are at their lowest point in the cycle.
5. Use Cash Back Apps
Cash-back apps reward you for buying groceries and household items that you are going to buy anyway. Ibotta is a reward app that will give you cash back for buying specific items. There are other apps that will give you cash back simply for snapping a picture of your receipt.
6. Eat Seasonally
We all know that eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables is good for us, but it can really push your budget if the fresh fruits and veggies you are buying aren’t in season. Make sure that the produce you are including in your meal plans is in season. If you need items that aren’t in season, consider the frozen food section for them.
7. Build a Freezer Stash
If you don’t already have an extra freezer, seriously consider getting one, second-hand ones work great. Having extra freezer space gives you the opportunity to build a freezer stash of items purchased on sale and meals that you have made for another time. Don’t have enough money for groceries this week? No problem, because you can shop your freezer.
8. Stock Your Pantry
Stock your pantry with the items you use most often when they are on sale at their lowest price. Keeping extra pantry items on hand means you’ve got meals even if you can’t get to the store. It can also lower your weekly grocery costs because you won’t need to purchase items when they aren’t on sale.
9. Buy Your Groceries Online
Buying your groceries online can help save you both time and money. You won’t be tempted to throw items you don’t need into your cart, and you won’t be wasting time strolling up and down the aisles. Picking up or having your groceries delivered is ideal for busy families on a budget.
10. Batch Cook
Batch cooking simply means to double or triple the recipe of a meal that you are already making. This gives you dinner for tonight and two or three meals to put in the freezer for another time. Pull those meals out on a week with a tight budget or when you are too busy to cook.
11. Shop At Your Discount Grocer
If you are lucky enough to have a discount grocer in your area, be sure to check it out. These are great places to get pantry staples for less, and they frequently have the best deals you can find on seasonal produce.
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This originally appeared on The Gracious Pantry.