Going to the grocery store is one of the most tedious chores on the planet. It can be even more of a headache if you have little ones in tow. Between the bulk bins, produce section, and aisles full of kid-approved treats, grocery stores can sometimes feel like a minefield. Additionally, grocery shopping adds up before you know it, or, at least, it seems to. Most families are on a budget, so being mindful of how much food costs is essential, of course, but there are some grocery store hacks every mom needs to know to help the process go as smoothly as possible.
Apparently, Americans are gas-lighting themselves into believing that it's out of reach to eat healthfully on a budget. People often think fresh produce, which is an essential component of eating healthfully, is one of the most expensive things in the grocery store. But according to the USDA, it's not as expensive as you think. According to the USDA's Economic Research Service and The Huffington Post, 14 percent of the fruits and 17 percent of vegetables cost less than $0.40 per cup-equivalent. So Americans no longer have that handy "it's too expensive" excuse for why they're not eating enough fruits and vegetables.
From choosing the right foods to buying at the right times, these tips will help you conquer the grocery store, save some money, and eat better all at the same time.
1. Choose In-Season Produce
Eating seasonally is great if you're trying to go green, but it can also help you save money at the grocery store. According to The Kitchn, in-season produce is more affordable. So say goodbye to summer berries in January if you're trying to save some money, unless you bought them in-season and froze them.
2. Look Up, Look Down
According to Buzzfeed, items placed on shelves at eye-level often cost more than those on lower or higher shelves. Look around a little to save some money.
3. Create A Meal Plan
Walking into a grocery store with a list is always a good plan of action, according to Jeanette Pavini, savings expert at Coupons.com, and The Huffington Post. If you plan what you need ahead of time and stick to the list, you won't walk out with extra, unnecessary purchases.
4. Buy The Right Size
Don't you hate throwing away food that's gone bad before you could eat it? According to Delish, Whole Foods stores will happily halve produce and sell it for half the price.
5. Sign Up For The Loyalty Program
Signing up for a rewards or loyalty card can save money, too. According to Delish, there are also apps like Punchcard, that will help you save at stores you shop at frequently.
6. Take Advantage Of The Sale (And Your Freezer)
Buy food that's on sale. It may sound obvious, but stocking up on frozen vegetables or buying fruit or meat on sale and freezing it can help you save, according to MindBodyGreen.
7. Ask For A Rain Check
According to Pavini and The Huffington Post, asking for a rain check for a sale product that's sold out makes sure you still get that item on sale. If it looks like they're out, ask.
8. Hit The Bulk Bins
Bulk bins are like a siren call to little kids, I know, but you can save some money if you buy in bulk, according to MindBodyGreen. Lots of staples are sold this way and you won't pay for packaging, which can up the price.
9. Chat Up The Butcher
The butcher is likely to know when certain types and cuts of meat might be marked down. Make friends with your butcher and eat more meat while still sticking to your budget, according to Pavini and The Huffington Post.