A friend once told me: “You get what you pay for.”
I took this to mean cheap products aren’t good, and good products aren’t cheap. If you want high quality you have to pay a high price.
But when it comes to the products you put in your body, you don’t have to break the bank to eat well.
There are many ways to save money on groceries while also eating a balanced diet of quality foods.
Skip the McDonald’s Dollar Menu. Keep reading to learn how to cut costs but improve your eating:
Save Food to Save Money on Groceries
One of the fastest ways to lose money is buying food you don’t need and throwing away food you never used.
Always make sure to take stock of what you have in your fridge already before grocery shopping.
Check how much longer all the food in your fridge is good for so you don’t buy too much of the same thing. Buying too much of the same perishable food is a recipe for waste. If you can still use leftovers from the last time you went shopping, do it!
Make sure to only buy what you know you’re going to eat. Some items look great on the shelf in the store, but if you don’t have a plan for that food, don’t buy it!
It may help to create an organized meal plan at the beginning of the week. Try to choose meals made with mostly the same ingredients cut costs. Choose meals you know you’ll love and will also have time to cook.
If you plan a dinner for yourself and don’t finish it, save the rest in the fridge. Use it for a snack or lunch the next day. That’s one less meal for you to buy and prepare!
Done with that chicken? Use the bones for soup or meat broth! Use as much of the foods you buy as you can.
Throwing away good food is throwing away money. When you save as much food as possible for later, you’re getting the most out of every dollar spent.
Make Your Own Products
The concept is simple: if you don’t really need it or you can make it at home, don’t buy it!
Did you know there are simple ways to make your own beauty products at home?
There are hundreds of online tutorials for DIY deodorant, toothpaste, body butter, face and body scrub, etc.
For most people, the $5-$20 spent on one bottle of shampoo or soap every few months doesn’t seem like much. But by the end of the year, what you save by no longer buying these products in store will add up to hundreds of dollars!
To figure out if something is worth trying to make at home, add up the cost of all the necessary ingredients. Divide this cost by how much use you’ll get out of all those ingredients.
For products you can’t or don’t want to make at home, figure out the best deals when buying them. This might include buying in bulk or accruing loyalty points with your favorite store.
Cleaning products can also be easy to make at home to save money on groceries. Many families make their own laundry detergent. And many moms have discovered they don’t need a different cleaner for every surface in their home. One high quality, all-purpose cleaner should do the trick.
Are there spices you consistently use that you can grow in your backyard? Not only is food grown at home certified fresh, it costs nothing for you to pick it yourself.
The best way to save on groceries is to shorten your shopping list! If you can make it or grow it at home, you don’t need to buy it– and you’ll have an easy way to refill it right there at home.
Buy in Bulk
Food in plastic packaging will always cost more than bulk bin items, or large containers of the same item.
Companies take the cost of their packaging and pass it on to you, the buyer. Skip the packaging altogether. You pay less per ounce of a product by buying from bulk bins at your grocery store.
Always be looking for more tips to save money. When bulk bins aren’t possible or aren’t available, you can still buy many staple items in bulk to save money on groceries. Costco and Sam’s Club are excellent examples of stores that help you do this.
Here are some items that are easy to buy in bulk:
- Herbs and spices
- Dry pasta
- Nuts and legumes
- Cooking oils
- Honey and sweeteners
- Frozen fruits and vegetables
- Canned goods
Buying in bulk will appear to cost more up front in the moment, but when you divide by use over time it’s way cheaper!
Preparing in bulk can save money on groceries and time in your week as well. Cook foods that perish quickly in large amounts at the beginning of the week. This makes their shelf life much longer and cuts meal prep time. Freeze any extra cooked food when necessary.
By planning meals that all roughly use the same few staple items, you can keep several containers of the same foods in the fridge cooked in one day and use them throughout the week for a variety of meals.
It’s not as hard as people think to eat well and eat on a budget.
The best way to save money on groceries is to plan the use of your food carefully, eliminate items you don’t need from your list, and buy/prepare in bulk as possible.
Skip unwanted costs by skipping packaging and pre-cooked items.
There’s no downside to more money and better quality food. It just takes careful planning and avoiding impulsive buys.
And of course, it never hurts to keep hunting for more ways to save. Save money in other categories of your budget to give your grocery budget an extra boost.