Grocery shopping can be expensive, especially when food prices are on the rise. But with a little bit of planning, you can save money and still get the food you need. AARP: The Magazine recently published 5 great tips for seniors looking to save money at the grocery store. In this blog post, we’ll look at how to make the most of your grocery budget!
Cook from scratch and avoid prepared foods — it costs less and is healthier, too
Cooking from scratch is one of the best ways to save money on groceries and eat healthier. Prepared foods, like pre-packaged snacks and ready-made meals, are often more expensive than making them yourself. They also often contain a lot of highly processed foods, saturated fats, sodium and ingredients you wouldn’t recognize.
When you cook from scratch, you have control over what goes into your food, and you don’t have to break the bank. You can choose fresh ingredients like fruits and vegetables or lean proteins. You don’t need to purchase expensive cuts of meat, either — less expensive cuts can be just as tasty when cooked properly. Even if you’re tired of cooking, you can make simple recipes like stir-fries or soups with minimal effort. It can be just as fast as ordering out or heating up something pre-made.
So before you take a trip down the frozen dinner aisle, take a few moments to consider making something homemade instead!
Have a plan for your meals in advance, so you can reuse ingredients and avoid impulsive shopping
Meal planning will save you money on your grocery bill, by buying only what you need. It also lets you reuse ingredients throughout the week, so you can save money by having a plan to use up that whole package of chicken breasts.
Start small by creating a meal plan for just a few days. Begin by making a list of meals that include overlapping ingredients, such as using ground beef to make spaghetti with meatballs and tacos. You can also check your grocery store’s weekly ads to plan your meals around what’s on sale each week.
When writing your grocery list, make sure to take stock of what you already have in your pantry or refrigerator first. That way, you can use up the can of tomatoes you already have rather than buying a second can.
Buy frozen goods and produce to end waste
Many seniors find that they eat less than they used to, due to changes in the metabolism as we age. To save money and reduce waste, take advantage of minimally processed frozen goods, like fruit and vegetables. Many vegetables that are commonly frozen, like peas and corn, may even be better than fresh in the produce section. Many varieties of fruits and vegetables are available in the freezer section, often at a fraction of the cost of fresh produce.
Frozen produce is a better healthy choice than canned goods, because it removes the need for preservatives, reducing your exposure to unhealthy chemicals and additives. Additionally, there’s no need to worry about spoilage, since you can cook only what you need, when you need it.
Make sure to look out for discounts, like a “buy one get one free” offer, which can help you stretch your grocery budget even further!
Don’t be afraid to buy high-quality store-brand goods — today’s house brands aren’t the offcast store brands of the ’70s
It’s no secret that store-brand goods are typically cheaper than name brands. However, many consumers don’t realize just how far store-brand products have come regarding quality and taste. Well-known manufacturers often produce today’s house brands and make the same product for Publix Premium or Walmart’s Great Value. You’re just paying less for the packaging. House brands mean you don’t have to sacrifice quality for a bargain — you can still get high-quality products and save money at the same time.
Overall, today’s house brands offer a good value on groceries, while still providing quality assurance. Don’t be afraid to try them out — they could end up saving you big bucks!
Plan your meals around what’s in season or on sale to take advantage of the best prices
Planning your meals around what’s in season or currently on sale can be an effective way to save money when grocery shopping. Additionally, many stores have weekly specials or promotions that you can take advantage of. You may want to see what’s in season at the store, and then look up recipes online that make use of seasonal produce to get creative with meal ideas.
It’s also important to remember that not all sales are worth taking advantage of — some may not save you much money compared to regular prices. Look at what the regular price is, and evaluate whether the savings is worth buying it right now, especially if you don’t need it.
Also, don’t forget about coupons! In addition to the old-fashioned paper coupons, many stores now offer digital coupons that can help you save even more money on groceries each week.
Don’t feel like cooking? Residents at a Westminster Life Plan Community enjoy restaurant-style dining, breakfast, lunch and dinner, with nutritious and seasonal menus prepared by the talented members of our dining services team. Learn how you can enjoy our menus and find a community near you!