It's no secret that prices at the grocery store are going up.
But Trish Brimhall, RDN, CD, CLE with Nutritious Intent, joined us with five ways to keep your food costs down.
Plan first. Hitting the grocery store without a plan or menu or list in place means you'll end up spending more and probably wasting more food and money. Online shopping may help some keep total food bill down as it is less likely you'll splurge or impulse buy. Also, keeping some nuts, dried fruits and bottled water in your car can help keep you out of the drive-thru long enough to prioritize that family dinner.
Map out a menu. Waiting 5 or 6 pm to decide what to have for dinner is a recipe for spending more money on convenience items, food delivery and less balanced intentional family meals. Bite the bullet and make a menu plan. Involve the family to not only incorporate their tastes and input, but also to help educate kiddos on the vital skills they'll need down the road of feeding themselves wisely.
Shop your fridge and freezer first, then check your local store's sales, and if need be, google recipe options. It is estimated that the average American loses $529 on wasted food per person per year. That can really add up for a family. Keep track of those leftovers and frozen odds and ends so that you can use them and enjoy them before freezer burn strikes.
Watch your snack habits. People complain that eating healthy costs too much but consider how much a packet of fruit snacks costs compared to an apple. Considering the nutritional difference, it pays to work in produce. Shop seasonal produce but don't rule out canned or frozen versions. When selecting canned produce, try to get low sodium and no added sugar versions.
Lastly, be flexible. Don't get too committed to any one brand, or any one food item or combination. As we've learned, shelves might not restock as quickly as they used to, and food prices tend to be moving target, so you may need to have flexibility in what veggie you pair with that spaghetti, or what protein option you choose for your taco bar. Being aware, using unit pricing and taking advantage of alternate produce co-ops are all ways that being flexible with food purchasing can pay off.
You can learn more from Trish at nutritiousintent.com.