Grocery stores are expensive, especially when you go in for only a couple of items a time. However, buying groceries and making homemade meals is still the cheapest, smartest and most healthy way to get fed. While it would be hard to suddenly buy halve of the items you normally would buy, here are some tricks to save some money at the supermarket.
1. Soup for dinner once a week
Soup is easy to make, pretty cheap, and contains lot of healthy vegetables. In fact, you can make soup of most vegetables, so it’s a great way to use your left-over veggies. If you are a big eater, like my boyfriend who thinks soup is not a real meal, you can serve some bread or a salad with your soup. Or go for a really filling soup like lentil soup or this roasted pumpkin soup.
2. Check your pantry
Most probably your pantry is packed with lots of food you never really use. With these products you can make a meal whenever you don’t have a lot of time or energy. With canned tomatoes, beans, some herbs, and eggs you can easily make a vegetarian stew. Or an easy pasta sauce with some garlic, canned tomatoes, and cheese.
3. Don’t be tempted by brand names
You might be used to a particular brand of coffee, drinks, or sugar, but the store brand is usually cheaper, the often use the same products but with their own labels on it, and they offer it at a better price. However, always check the ingredients to be sure it’s the same producht. Also, be aware that we tend to look at items at our eye level, most of the time the brand products, so the more expensice items, are on the shelves we see first. So when shopping, remember to look at the higher and lower shelves for cheaper items.
4. Eat with the seasons
Fruit and veggies of the season aren’t only cheaper but will taste so much better. Out-of-season products travel far, which are costs you end up paying for. Not only bad for your wallet but also for the environment. Produce that are in season now in january (at least here in Holland) are kale, kohlrabi, beetroot, grapefruit, pears, and apples.
5. Don’t go to the store hungry
This is something I do too often, going to the grocery store after work and before dinner, exactly the time to get hungry.. If you buy your groceries when hungry you will buy a lot more than you need. Somehow I always end up with some chips, chocolate or ice cream in my shopping basket. Defenitely produce I don’t need or actually even want to eat! Try to do the shopping on the weekends, or on times not just before dinner, when you can shop on a full stomach.
6. Make a weekly menu
To plan your meals is a really easy way to save some money. You don’t have to visit the grocery store every day, so you’re less likely to take products you don’t need. When making a grocery list it will not only make sure you don’t forget the things you need, it will deter you from buying the things you don’t need.
7. Eat more veggies
Good, biological meat is expensive. Try to eat more vegetarian, at least for 3 or 4 days a week. It’s not only better for the environment, but also for you (more vegetables means more vitamins) and your wallet. If you think that cooking vegetarian meals is difficult, it is not. Try some nuts, cheese, beans or even vegetarian meat to replace your steak or chicken.