According to the U.S. Agriculture Department, it now costs just more than a thousand bucks a month to feed the average family of four, and that doesn’t even factor in buying organic. Heck, if you buy everything organic, plan on adding another who-knows-how-many dollars to your monthly grocery bill. The good news is that there are easy ways to save money on groceries, even if you like to buy organic food for yourself and your family.
Here are five tips to try next month:
1. Buy local produce in season. Produce in season is fresher and just tastes better. Plus, high fuel prices contribute to higher food prices, so buy local when you can since those peaches don’t have to travel hundreds of miles in diesel-fueled trucks.
2. Only buy certain organics. If your budget prevents you from going all-in on organics, The Environmental Working Group recommends spending the extra money on these 12 items because they test with the highest levels of pesticides when grown conventionally:
Kale / Collard Greens
3. Buy in quantity when items are on sale. If one of your family favorites is Chicken Piccata, buy a bunch of chicken breasts when they go on sale and freeze them when you get home. Be sure to add them to your freezer inventory so your bulk buy isn’t wasted.
4. Buy the store brand. I love me some CouponMom and coupons are an awesome way to save, but before you clip blindly, be sure to compare prices. You might be surprised; the store brand at regular price is often less than the name brand even after you apply the coupon discount.
5. Shop the perimeter. Typically, processed and packaged food is the most expensive food in the store and the least healthy to boot! It’s also sold on the interior aisles. Stick to the perimeter of the store as much as possible, where meat, fish, produce, bread and dairy live. Staying away from convenience foods saves you a few bucks and it’s healthier, too.
Buying groceries is a must-do task but you don’t have to go broke feeding your family. These five easy tips will help you trim your grocery budget and still eat well. What are your tried and true favorite ways to stretch your grocery dollar?