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With food prices high and the overall economy not looking great, many of us are wondering how to save money on groceries each week. Luckily, you can spend less at the supermarket with just a few simple adjustments to how you shop and what you do with what you buy. We’ve pulled together some of our top VT stories on smart ways to buy and store groceries into this one-stop guide to help you shop happily.
How to Save Money on Groceries Step 1: Shop Strategically
The first step to saving money on food might be the most obvious: Think critically about what you’re going to buy and don’t fill your cart with expensive items that won’t prove their worth in your kitchen. Where you shop matters as well. You might find your local farmer’s market offers seasonal produce at lower prices than the mega-mart (and it might be better quality, too). Meal planning can be a great help, plotting out recipes to make for the week in advance and thinking about where you can economize on using the same ingredients in multiple ways.
How to Save Money on Groceries Step 2: Store Your Food Properly to Get More Value from What You Buy
Every year the average American household is showing hundreds of pounds of food directly into the trashcan. All those wilted vegetables, stale loaves of bread, and opened-and-forgotten jars and bottles came into your home as fresh groceries that you spent money on – meaning those hundreds of pounds of chucked-out food translate into hundreds of dollars going into the garbage.
Reducing the amount of money you’re wasting in the form of food waste, there are some simple strategies that can help. Store groceries so they last and don’t spoil before you get a chance to eat them – and when you get around to cooking them, look for opportunities to maximize what you get out of each item.
How to Save Money on Groceries Bonus: Grow Your Own
Your windowsill garden may not produce enough crops to replace a trip to the grocery store, but supplementing your shopping with a little at-home farming won’t hurt either. Consider planting some of your favorite fruits, vegetables, and other edibles. Growing herbs is a particularly good value proposition, as you can snip just what you need for a particular recipe without having to buy a whole (often plastic-encased) package at the store when you only want a single sprig.