To save on food, be an opportunist. Buy what you like, but buy on sale. Do you need oranges every day?
Buy them, when they’re cheap, then buy grapefruit or orange juice when it’s on sale. Opportunism is the key to low-cost living in general.
You get everything you like, and lots of variety, because everything goes on sale once in a while.
Here are ten more ways to get cheap food.
1. Stock up during sales. We recently bought 20 or 30 cans of tomato paste on sale for 10 cents per can. That’s cheap food. You can do this with all non-perishables.
2. Try store brands. Some are as good as name brands and some aren’t, but all are cheaper. Test them, maybe without telling the kids.
3. Buy fruits and vegetables in season. They are at their highest quality at the point where the price is the lowest.
4. Garden. Gardening can be a great way to stay in shape, and can help you save on food as well.
5. Fruit trees. Even if you don’t like to garden, you can have a fruit tree or two that take care of themselves. We love to snack on the grapes and peaches that grow behind the house.
6. Double coupon deals. If a store near you doubles the value of your coupons, buy the smallest size of the coupon item. A doubled 50 cent coupon saves you $1 off a $2 package of toilet paper, but the $1 package is free.
7. Buy by pound or piece. Buy the large pieces of produce when priced by the piece, and you’ll get more for the same price. Conversely, buy small pieces when priced by the pound. If you get four bananas for the price of two large ones, you’ll still only eat one at a time, right?
8. Plan your shopping. Saving on your grocery bill isn’t just about cheap food. It’s also about not buying things you don’t need on impulse.
9. Use a small cart. If you can’t carry too much, you’ll buy less.
10. Never shop for food when hungry. Eat a meal first and you’ll save on food you don’t buy.
This simple idea has saved us a lot.