How to save money on groceries? Generality, meal planning, bulk

Wegmans Grocery China constantly checks prices to make sure their prices are competitive.

Wegmans Grocery China constantly checks prices to make sure their prices are competitive.

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Looking for more tips on how to save money?

The News & Observer’s service journalism team is meeting for free.

With cost reduction tips in several categories. We will often add new stories.


With rising inflation, we’re all looking for ways to save money and keep our budgets in check.

The News & Observer’s service journalism team is meeting for free. Money saving series With cost reduction tips in several categories. In this episode, we present tips on how to save money on groceries.

If you have any points that we have missed, you can email us at [email protected] We will update this story with good suggestions from readers.

1. Save on Staples (and more): Buy generic brands.

That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there.

We all have a few riding or die brands we can’t cut (we’re looking at you, Duke’s Mayo and Orio cookies) but for the most part, you won’t be able to tell the difference if you Store brand. This is especially true when buying basic items such as pasta, rice, dried beans, canned vegetables / tomatoes / beans, frozen vegetables, sugar, butter, oatmeal, mustard, spices, etc.

According to ShelfCooking.com, in many cases, generic label products are manufactured by the same manufacturers that make your favorite brands. The price pays for the markup ads. ShelfCooking estimates that you can save at least $ 20 a week on your grocery by switching to generic brands.

2. Cheap prices on Aldi, Lidl (and sometimes, Trader Joe’s)

If you are comfortable with casual and store brand items, the German chains Aldi and Lidl are the shopping macaque of grocery. These chains specialize in store-branded items, but there will also be some named brand items when available. And goods. Super cheap – Cheaper than most general stores. (The exception would be Walmart, which has a comparable price on generics).

Aldi and Lidl also have great prices on perishable things like fresh meat, bread, produce and much more.

Trader Joes is also worth a look. They only offer TJ branded items, and some of their items are very cheap. (I like to go for frozen items like sweet peas, Brussels sprouts and fruit.) But if you like, the prices aren’t that high, so be careful.

3. Save on Coffee: Get Reusable K-Cups.

Coffee prices have skyrocketed over the past year, and one way to save is to eliminate disposable K-Cups.

Get a packet of Reusable K-Cup filters (You can find a lot of options on Amazon – a 6 pack at $ 9 and a 12 pack at $ 13 from Quick Search – but you can also buy them at Walmart or Target) and fill them with your favorite coffee. It only takes a few seconds for the coffee to reach the pods, and they are easy to wash by hand, or you can run them through the dishwasher.

This can reduce the cost of your coffee by half (!) – and is great for the environment.

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To save money on produce, shop in season – even buy frozen vegetables, which research shows are as healthy as fresh. Jewel Samad AFP / Getty Images

4. Save on vegetables: Buy in season, buy frozen.

When buying fresh vegetables, always try to buy items that are in season, as prices will be lower.

But whenever they fit your menu, consider buying frozen vegetables (normal! Normal! Normal!). Here are some good reasons:

  • Frozen vegetables are as healthy as fresh (and there are even studies that show that frozen vegetables are more nutritious than fresh ones, because they freeze when ripe).
  • Frozen vegetables will not rot in your crisper, so you eliminate waste.
  • When they’re on sale you can stock up (again, go normally!) And you’ll always have the option of green vegetables without wasting time (and gas) for an extra store or farmer’s market supplement for something fresh. Travel.

5. Save by buying in bulk (and then freeze)

Buying in bulk at a grocery store is a great way to save, but the key is to not use it immediately and save it safely.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Whenever you are Buying fresh meatSee if the store offers the same meat in bulk or in a “family size” package. The price per pound is almost always lower. Use whatever you need for this meal and then Divided and frozen the rest.
  • Do this when you see a huge sale of meat. Scan the grocery store’s flyers every week to see their large sale items.
  • If you have a wholesale membership of Costco, Sam’s Club or BJ, you are already familiar with bulk purchases. But keep in mind that sometimes grocery stores beat prices with weekly sales.

Freezer Tips:

  • Wrap the meat tightly in plastic wrap or foil (a master class freezer paper is also recommended on the freezing mat), then place in an airtight, zip top freezer bag.
  • Label the package with the type of meat, weight (an estimate) and date.
  • Use it if you have a food vacuum seller! They suck the air and prevent the meat from burning in the freezer, prolonging its life in the freezer.
  • Make a list of what you have in the freezer every two months and plan to use it before it gets too old.
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Your freezer can be your best friend when trying to save money on food costs. Buy large quantities and freeze portions, prepare meals ahead of time and freeze later, and freeze leftovers (even small portions) for later use in soups or stews. McClatchy files. KRT

6. Buy grocery sales and focus on loss leaders.

In general, the items printed on the front and back pages of the weekly grocery sales flyer are “loss guides”, which means that these are the items that the store expects you to lose money in order to bring them into the store. Ready to buy some more expensive items while you’re at it.

TasteOfHome.com says that the popular losers are milk and eggs, because these are the things that people buy regularly. There are also many seasonal damage leaders, such as hot dogs and hamburgers around the Fourth of July and turkeys at Thanksgiving.

If this is a particularly good deal, buy the store range and keep it on hand – as long as you can use it before it goes bad.

7. Save and replace leftover parts.

Surviving ruler. Especially when you have enough for another dinner or lunch.

But even if you have small portions of vegetables or meat that are too small to use in other foods, don’t throw them out. Freeze them and then use them for soup or stew when you have enough “scraps”.

I like to freeze them individually so I can label everything, but I’ve noticed that others use a large zip top plastic bag that they keep adding. This works well if you are going to make your own soup or stew relatively soon.

8. Re-grow vegetables from scrap.

I’ve done it – with various successes – and it’s very rewarding when it works.

RuralSprouts.com has a list of 20 foods you can “grow from crepe” to everything from potatoes and onions to lettuce, celery and mint.

I have had great success with it. Green onions / scallions. Use the green part of the onion and then put the white part in the water with the roots (a shot glass or small, thin jar works very well) and the green shoots will appear in days. Just keep cutting the green part and the onion will continue to grow for a while. (Change the water frequently.) Rural Ankrat says that you can also plant these onion buds in your garden.

I’ve had less success with Roman lettuce (the bottom always rots before new leaves grow), but it’s worth a try.

What do rural sprouts suggest for other vegetables:

Potatoes: When the potatoes start to grow old and the roots start growing in the eyes, cut the potatoes into sections and plant the eyes / roots upwards in good soil.

Celery: Cut off the bottom of the celery and place in a shallow container with a little warm water underneath. Keep the bowl in a sunny and relatively warm place. New shoots of celery will grow from the top of the base like onions.

Carrots: Place the tops of the carrots in a shallow dish of water and once the green leaves begin to sprout, you can plant them in the ground and they should continue to grow again.

See all tips at ruralsprout.com/regrow-vegetables – including how to do it. Grow vegetables from production seeds. (Such as pepper, pumpkin and strawberry).

9. Use coupons – both paper and digital

Cutting coupons from Sunday paper has always been a good way to save on groceries and some grocery stores will double the coupon discount by one point. (Although sometimes, even with coupons, the generic brand is cheaper!)

But you are not limited to paper coupons these days. Most grocery chains now offer. Electronic coupons You can “clip” or save it online or via a mobile app by linking it to your customer loyalty account. Before you go to the store, you “clip” the coupons you want to use, and then when you check out, your total discount is automatically deducted. (Always check your receipt before leaving the store to make sure, and if not, go to customer service.)

Tip: Don’t buy anything you can’t possibly use, just because you have a coupon. This is not a good thing if you do not use it.

10. Meal planning saves money.

Planning a meal is a great way to save money on groceries because it requires you to adopt some smart shopping habits: planning and inventory. It also ensures that you have food and you are not tempted to order a take-out or have lunch outside.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Plan ahead for your weekly meal, Using this week’s Grocery Cell Flyer Choosing discounted ingredients.
  • CookSmarts.com also recommends one. Your pantry inventory To see what items you have on hand that you can use. They also recommend using the ingredients at hand for extinction.
  • Make your shopping list before going to the store, and Stick to the list.
  • Preparation and Pack lunch the night before.If you are in a hurry to put it together in the morning.
  • PennyHoarder.com has great tips (read them all) but I really like: Get some. Emergency food in your freezer.

11. Eat more meat.

Eating more vegetarian food is healthier, better for the environment and saves money.

If you are a dedicated meat eater, start by choosing some foods (or weekends) when you will be eating non-meat.

But what can you eat? There are lots of great recipes for high protein cereal bowls, pasta entries, super filling salads and more. Just google “meatless foods” or “vegetarian recipes” and choose some simple things that look good.

This story was originally published. 16 June 2022 2:19 PM

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Brooke Kane is a native of North Carolina who has worked for The News & Observer for over 25 years. She is the editor of Service Journalism and writes about TV and local media for The N & O’s Happiness is a Warm TV blog.

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