By Ashley Martens
It is the start of the most wonderful time of the year, which means baking and cooking classic dishes to honor all of those annual holiday traditions. Whether you are putting a more mindful spin on holiday recipes or researching how to put a healthy twist on all those holiday leftovers, you still need to grocery shop for everyday meals outside the major holidays.
You already have a Guide to Grocery Shopping, but now it is time to brush up on some helpful tips for grocery shopping on a budget. Use these tips to save money on everyday food items or your holiday fare. These tips are a great way to help you save money during the busy holiday season. Your future self, and your wallet, will thank you.
#1 Buy in Bulk
If you and your family need a lot of one specific item, save money and shop in bulk instead of buying multiple items. Great items to purchase in bulk include beans, cereal, chocolate, coffee, grains, legumes, nuts, oatmeal, seeds, and snacks.
#2 Check the Unit Price
One of the most overlooked ways to save money when grocery shopping on a budget is by checking the unit price of items. Checking the unit price of items will give you an idea of how much you are paying per item.
One product often looks way less expensive than another, but it is only because you are getting less of it, so be sure to check the unit price when grocery shopping to help you save money. This rule applies to non-food items like bathroom toiletries and kitchen cleaning supplies.
#3 Do Not Shop Hungry
We have all been there before. Grocery shopping while hungry. It does not make for a pleasant experience for you or your fellow shoppers. Do everyone a favor, yourself and your stomach included, and avoid shopping when hunger strikes.
When you are hungry, you are more likely to purchase foods you normally would not simply because you are overly hungry. Avoiding grocery shopping when hungry will allow you to be more focused on the task at hand, and you will not be distracted by delicious-looking foods and mouth-watering smells from the already-prepared meals section of the grocery store.
#4 Grow It
An easy way to save money on groceries is to grow food yourself. Your geographic location and the time of the year will determine what you can and cannot grow, but even a kitchen windowsill garden can serve as the perfect spot for a DIY herb garden. Why spend so much on an entire container of fresh rosemary when you can grow it yourself and only grab the pinch you need for Thanksgiving Day dinner?
If you do not have a backyard space to grow fresh produce, look for a plot in the community garden. See if your family, friends, or neighbors want to share one so you can all have a weekly haul of your own homegrown fresh produce. (Again, climate and weather conditions pending). Not into growing or gardening? Look into a CSA instead.
#5 Look for Deals
A super simple way to grocery shop on a budget is to peruse the weekly handouts and flyers from local grocery stores in your neighborhood and look for deals. This part may be a challenge, but do not buy items unless items are on your grocery list. Yes, even if they are on sale. Sticking to your grocery will also help you stick to your budget. Speaking of grocery lists…
#6 Make a Grocery List
Creating a grocery list may sound super obvious regarding budgeting, but an official grocery list makes grocery shopping easier for you and your wallet. Plan out the meals you want for the following week or your holiday menu, then build a grocery list based on your list. Sticking to the grocery list will also save you money and time.
#7 Shop the Local Community Farmers Market
When grocery shopping on a budget, shop at the local community farmers’ market. Whether you meander the stalls during your weekday lunch hour or make an early morning out of it on Saturday or Sunday, trade in your weekly grocery trips for a trip to the local farmers market instead. Not only will you maybe find a good deal, but you will be supporting local farmers and growers.
As you make your grocery list for the upcoming holiday season, keep these budget-friendly tips in mind to help make the most wonderful time of the year for your stomach and your wallet.
Meet The Author
Ashley Martens is a Health and Wellness Writer based in Chicago, IL. With a background in digital marketing coupled with her knowledge of general nutrition and a lifelong passion for all things health, wellness, fitness and nutrition, Ashley offers a healthy alternative to traditional writing. You can learn more about Ashley and her writing on her portfolio.