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Grocery Shopping Budgeting

Grocery shopping is a fundamental aspect of our lives, however with rising grocery costs it can pose a significant stressor for many households. Please know that there is a lot of privilege acknowledged in being able to grocery shop regularly for a household, as well as utilize some of these tips that can take more resources such as time and energy. If you are struggling to afford food for your household, please look into food assistance opportunities in your area or visit this page: Food assistance.

If this feels suitable for you to review, here are some smart strategies for budgeting your grocery shopping and making the most of every dollar:

  1. Create a weekly meal plan or some flexible structure: One of the most effective ways to stick to a grocery budget is by planning your meals in advance. Sit down each week and loosely map out what you'll eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks; rigidity can be unhelpful overall in these situations. Take inventory of what you already have in your pantry and fridge to avoid purchasing duplicate items. Include aspects such as eating leftovers or times you may eat outside of the home into your overall plan. If you struggle with meal planning overall, here are some previous blog posts that may help:

  1. Use a grocery list: Once you've created your meal plan, make a shopping list of all the ingredients you'll need. Stick to your list while shopping to avoid impulse purchases, which can quickly inflate your grocery bill. Having a list also helps streamline your shopping experience and reduces the temptation to buy unnecessary items.

  2. Buy in bulk (if it makes sense for you and your household): Consider purchasing staple items in bulk. Buying in larger quantities often comes with a lower per-unit cost, saving you money in the long run, if it’s affordable and accessible for you. Be sure to store bulk items properly to maintain their freshness and quality over a longer time period.

  3. Compare prices and brands: While shopping (if this feels realistic to you), this can help to ensure you're getting the best value for your money. Oftentimes generic or store-brand products can taste very similar to their name-brand counterparts but at a lower cost. Keep an eye out for sales and promotions to further maximize your savings.

  4. Embrace seasonal produce: This is something that’s been featured on the blog before, and these posts can be reviewed: here, here, and here! There are numerous positive reasons to buy and cook with what's in season including: items being more affordable, potential increased nutrient density and freshness of foods, plus a chance to potentially try unfamiliar produce. Visit your local farmers' market or explore the produce section of your grocery store to discover what's in season and plan your meals accordingly.

  5. Utilize coupons and promotions: Keep an eye out for coupons, digital discounts, and loyalty programs offered by your grocery store. These can help you save money on your purchases and stretch your grocery budget further. Sign up for newsletters or loyalty programs to stay informed about special offers and promotions.

  6. Minimize food waste: Food waste not only contributes to environmental issues, but also wastes money. Plan your meals to utilize ingredients efficiently and repurpose leftovers into new dishes; this can sometimes be called “shopping your kitchen” before going to the store to shop for new ingredients. Additionally, store perishable items properly to prolong their freshness or freeze items that you won’t use in time to be used at another time. Sources: 1. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) - "10 Tips for Saving at the Grocery Store" - 2. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics - "Budget-Friendly Tips to Feed Your Family" - 3. Consumer Reports - "How to Save Money on Groceries" -


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