Around the House: Save Big Money on Groceries
By Yehudit Garmaise
No, it is not your imagination, food prices are surging, according to the US Inflation Calculator.
To not get gouged by groceries, BoroPark24 provides several helpful tips.
1. Buy brands that are on sale, not just your family’s favorites or what is familiar. Shoppers can save money by remaining open-minded to trying whatever brands happen to be on sale or priced lower, points out Masbia Executive Director Alexander Rapaport.
“A lot of heimeshe brands have off-brands that are cheaper,” Rapaport said. “We don’t have to always stick to the main brands, when other brands are cheaper.
“Some people just like one type of challah or crackers, but instead, people can try different types of foods that might be drastically lower-priced, as listed on the grocery stores’ fliers.”
2. Make a meal plan for the week, so that you know exactly what ingredients you need in the right quantities.
3. Consult your local grocery store’s weekly circular when you plan your meals: “Why not take advantage of valuable sales offers?” asks Jake Hill, the CEO of DebtHammer Relief, who suggests buying generic versions of most products whenever possible, as they generally cost less than name-brand options.
4. Assess what you have at home: Store things neatly in your cabinets, refrigerator, and freezer so you can quickly check to see what you already have before you make a list and go to the store.
5. Frozen fruits and vegetables not only often cost less than fresh produce, but they are usually picked at the height of ripeness and so they normally retain their nutrients even better than their fresh alternatives, Yahoo news reported.
6. Make a shopping list, and set a food budget for the week, and stick to them: Write down everything you know you need, and once you get to the store: don’t buy anything that is not on the list. Stay focused on essential purchases only.
7. Buy larger containers, instead of individually packaged items for things like yogurt, cottage cheese, and chips, which cost much more when packaged separately. “You can save a lot if you don’t pay for all that packaging,” Rapaport said.
8. Stock up when items you often use go on sale: Does your family eat a lot peanut butter or instant soups? Grab a bunch to keep them in your pantry to save money in the long run.
9. Bulk items are not necessarily cheaper: especially if you don’t need them. At huge, club-type stores, many shoppers buy larger quantities than they need, spend more, and make far more impulse purchases. Many shoppers find they spend significantly less money by frequenting small, neighborhood grocery stores.
10. Make your orders online or on the phone at home, and then have them delivered or pick them up to avoid impulse purchases. “When we fill our carts at home with the things we need, then we aren’t tempted to add other things at the store as we see them,” Redburn said.
11. Don’t buy disposable serving items when you buy food. Not only are expensive disposables baal tashchis, but serving on nicer plates with silver cutlery shows more kevod for Shabbos and Yom Tov.
“Get used to using less paper and less plastic goods, which add up every week,” Rapaport said. “Why should we buy things to then just throw them away after just one use?”
12. Don’t shop when you are hungry. It’s true what your mother told you: Eat before you head to the store, where you will toss things into your cart that appeal to you when you feel like snacking or eating a meal.