How to Save on Groceries this Month
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Groceries can be so expensive and everyone who wants to save money needs to buy them. Two easy ways to save on groceries this month are:
- Only eat at restaurants
- Growing all your own food
The first option wouldn’t be very frugal! And the second one would have required some planning and A LOT of hard work! But let’s get real now, I’m not recommending you do either of those things.
Instead, this month we are not buying any pantry items!
How to Save on Groceries This Month
Now it may sound drastic to not buy anything for your pantry this month, especially with school having just started, but food waste is real folks!
Before you dismiss this completely, pause, and think about the last time you came home from grocery shopping. Did you struggle to fit them in your fridge, freezer, or pantry? Did you shove food aside that has been sitting on your shelves for months? No? Shoot, am I the only one?
My pantry is full, which shows that I’m still buying food I don’t prefer to eat (why do I do that?). By encouraging (forcing?) myself to eat what I have, I will be a better future grocery shopper.
How to Not Buy Pantry Items
It may sound drastic to not buy any pantry items just to save on groceries this month, but it is a good practice that we implement at least twice a year.
It encourages creativity in the kitchen, which helps us keep a varied and healthy diet. I recommend adding garlic to whatever odds and ends pantry staples you are using, it makes everything better! (Well maybe not dessert.) It’s amazing how many meals you can make by using your freezer and pantry items.
If you have flour make bread or homemade pizza! If you have canned artichokes (as we do) throw them in with your grilled veggies. If you run out of pasta, flour and rice try making a few meals without them and see how you feel. There’s no rule that you need grains with every meal, the rule should probably be vegetables if there was one. Try mixing it up and see how you feel!
What Should you Buy at the Grocery Store this Month?
Local summer produce should still be at their lowest prices so stock up and eat plenty! I’m a big fan of veggies, and my garden is still giving me a bunch! Vegetables and fruits taste best when they are local and fresh, in Michigan that means now is the time to eat them all! Winter will soon be here and I will be eating frozen veggies or stuff shipped across the country and world.
To go with that point, fruit! I highly recommend always having fresh bananas on hand. They are a frugal snack, and if you buy too many they are easily frozen and reused for smoothies! Apples, peaches, and plums are ripe in the midwest, chances are there is a fruit in season near you too.
Wow, fruits and veggies!?! I sound like your mother don’t I? But hey, it’s good advice.
Why Not Having a Stocked Pantry can be a Good Thing
If you’ve ever had a mouse or other pest infestation you’ve lived through the difficult experience of having to throw away otherwise usable food. With winter approaching it’s a good idea to get your pantry mostly emptied to get it cleaned before the pests come looking for warmth!
Also, food staples and pantry items are often cheaper in winter when people are looking for comfort food and stores are trying to drive in shoppers for the holidays.
By tracking our spending every month I keep myself honest about my grocery budget. I despise throwing away food that was usable, especially pantry items that keep for many months. It’s easy for an item to get shoved into the corner, so take the September challenge, spend less money at the grocery store, and don’t stock up this month.
What are your best money saving grocery tips?