Use Your Brain to Reduce Grocery Costs

Mar 28


Gabriella Gometra

Gabriella Gometra

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By thinking more about what you eat and what you buy at the grocery store, you will find numerous ways of cutting your grocery bill. As a side benefit you will also find that you will be eating the healthier way you have always desired to.

Cutting down on food costs will require you to plan ahead and use your brain to think about why food costs what it does. With recent increases in raw materials, Use Your Brain to Reduce Grocery Costs  Articles the costs of foods across the board are expected to increase soon. It can seem like a very daunting task to reduce what you may have already tried to reduce, but it is actually a lot easier than it sounds. You will soon find that you enjoy having healthy meals while saving money. 
The golden rule of grocery shopping on a budget is to create a menu to base your shopping list on. Take advantage of your menu to plan for nutritious meals and snacks and also to pay attention to portion sizes to reduce creeping weight gain as well as saving money on groceries. You should think about what you know about nutrition and be able to justify every menu item for the particular nutrients it adds to your body without adding any more fats and sugars necessary to make your food palatable. A given breakfast cereal may seem cheap, but compared to another cereal that has less sugar you may find you are getting a better buy for your money. By thinking this way you will be able to avoid spending extra money on unnecessary food items and beverages. Breakfast cereal, by the way, is one of the more expensive ways to buy sugar. It is cheaper to buy a bag of sugar and bake your own cookies, or in some cases, even to buy the cookies. If you must have something sweet for breakfast, a slice of toast with a little jam is a better buy, and you can have more control over the quality of the carbohydrates overall by making it whole grain bread.
Be sure to make use of the store sales and work good buys into your menu. You can even check online for different stores' weekly ads. You can then stock up on staples while they are on sale. Items that freeze well are baked goods like breads, bagels and tortillas. Grated cheese, margarine, meat and poultry also freeze very well. Meat is one of the more expensive items at the grocery stores so it is great when you can stock up on the sale prices. Canned goods are often usable for a year or more. Just be careful to always have enough grocery money on hand to buy things you need first, and do not try to stock up more on any items than you can safely consume before it gets too old.
One thing to keep in mind is that not all the cost of any given grocery store food is based on the raw cost of that food. If a brand-name food is advertised on national television you are paying for that advertising. Consider trying store brands and generic foods instead. With some foods you are paying for the convenience of the packaging or having the food pre-cooked or cut-up. This is where you need to make a decision on whether the extra cost is worth the time savings. An example of a way you can save in this department is to create your own single portion sized bags of chips for sack lunches. Also, pre-seasoned, pre-cubed and pre-pounded meats and poultry can cut back on prep time; they are also more costly than if you purchased a large package of meats and then diced it up and froze it separately. It only takes a few additional moments to cut and season your meats yourself before freezing them. Then all you have to do is thaw and cook. You will also save yourself some cash by peeling the skin and excess fat, and removing the bones from chicken and meat yourself. Bones can make the beginnings of some great soup stocks. Family packs are a great way to purchase quantities of meat at a reduced price. Also, try to plan for at least one meatless dinner a week based on legumes to reduce saturated fats, expense, and to expand your tastes for a cheaper source of high quality protein.
It has also long been standard advice to eat before you grocery shop and to avoid picking up items on the ends of grocery store aisles to reduce those impulse buys. Impulse buys are rooted in "not thinking." When you give more thought to how you grocery shop and how you eat, you will have the key to eating healthier and saving money.