Stretching your dollar at the grocery store is worth the effort

Here are some tip on how to save money while shopping at the grocery Store

It seems like every trip you take to the grocery store you find yourself paying even more and more. We’re feeling the pinch too and we’ve been looking for tips and tricks to save money.

Stephany Domingos is focused on making healthy meals for her family – even as prices at the supermarket rise. But she found that planning every meal in advance pays off.

“Meal planning definitely helps me save money because I’m being conscious about what I’m eating, and what I’m going to be purchasing, so I do not over buy,” Domingos said.

Consumer Reports says stretching your dollar at the grocery store is worth the effort. Some approaches to saving will also lead you to eating healthier!

Start with a well-thought-out list. It will help keep you from impulse buys.

Try replacing some of the meat in your diet. Dried beans, peas and lentils are far cheaper than animal proteins, and they’re packed with nutrients. Legumes are a great base for dips, bowls or salads, hearty stews and veggie burgers.

“Beans are a source of fiber, a nutrient most adult Americans don’t get enough of. And getting protein from beans, rather than red or processed meat can protect against certain cancers and other chronic diseases,” said Consumer Reports Nutritionist Amy Keating.”

Eggs are another nutritious and still relatively inexpensive staple. Keating says to use them in breakfast burritos, lunchtime omelets or a savory dinner pancake, and benefit from their vitamin and protein power.

“Consumer Reports has found that store brands are often comparable in taste and nutrition to name brands,” she said.

And store-brand foods and beverages can cost 20 to 25 percent less than name brands of a similar product.

If you don’t already check unit prices, try it. It’s this “per ounce” or “per pound” number next to the full price.

Now, this trick is a biggie! Your freezer can be a real money saver for you. The experts at Consumer Reports say a family of four can save about $2,000 a year by freezing. If the items are on sale or in season, buy in bulk and stock your freezer. Then, build your meals around those foods.

Some other ways to save at the grocery store include:

  • Skipping pre-washed and pre-cut fruits and veggies since they’re more expensive
  • Grating your own cheese
  • Looking down at the lower shelves since the more expensive items are normally eye level
  • Shopping alone -- when possible -- so the kids don’t sneak items into your basket or try to get you to buy things you don’t need