Plan meals and snacks for the weekDecide which recipes to make based on your pantry and freezer staples. Then prepare your grocery list by checking for store specials and coupons and making a list of all of the items you intend to purchase.
Use your grocery store loyalty cards for extra rewards. Also, eat before you shop to keep from buying foods that aren’t on your list.
Include canned and frozen fruits and vegetablesCanned vegetables are often higher in sodium, but they’re economical and convenient. Rinsing them can lower total sodium content, or you can choose reduced-sodium varieties. Canned fruit is just as nutritious as fresh. Frozen fruits and vegetables are also convenient and budget-friendly.
Avoid frozen packages with sauces, and read labels for added saturated fat and sodium. Avoid fruit that is canned in syrup; opt for fruit canned in its own juice instead.
Purchase in bulkBuy in bulk, especially when stores are having promotions. Foods such as meat, pasta, rice, and canned goods are easy to stockpile because they last a long time in the freezer or pantry. If they’re on sale, buy as much as you can afford and store them until the next big sale.
Buy a side of beef or a family pack at the grocery store or meat market. When you get home, split it into two or four servings and freeze in resealable freezer bags. This way you’ll have better quality meat that will last you a long time. You can also purchase whole-grain breads that are on sale and freeze some for later use. They’ll keep for up to three months in the freezer.
Consider shopping at discount stores as well. Some stores offer deep discounts, and many have their own store brands. Most of the time you get an equal-quality product for so much less.
Select in-season produce and store it properlyNot only is in-season produce more readily available, but it also has a better flavor and is more budget-friendly. Buy some fruit that still needs time to ripen if you don’t plan to use it right away. Be sure to store fruits and vegetables properly to avoid waste. Items such as grapes, berries, and cherries should be stored in the refrigerator, and washed when ready to eat.
If you have the space in your freezer, buy extra in-season produce and freeze some so you can have it on hand in the off-season months. Berries, for example, are super easy to freeze. Just rinse, let dry, then place into zippered freezer bags (these come in handy for a frozen sweet treat or for yogurt smoothies).