One of the most important things US consumers spend their money on is food. According to the USDA’s most recent report, the average cost of groceries for a family of four each month ranges between $566-$1100+. For a single adult, it ranges from $160-$370 per month. Those numbers might seem shocking to some or realistic to others. What if there was a way to stretch your budget to get the most out of each dollar you spend? Follow these five simple tips for stretching your grocery dollar.
Set a budget
This tip must be first because it’s quite difficult to know how much you can spend without a budget. You can create your budget by reviewing your bank/credit card statement from the previous month. Calculate how much you spend each week or each month from the previous month. Let’s say your average spending is about $200 per week or $800 per month. Use this as your starting budget.
Make your local ad your best friend
Your local grocer’s ad is truly your best friend when it comes to stretching your dollars. For example, you may see that Best Choice pasta is on sale and Best Choice pasta sauce is on sale. Those are perfect items for a pasta dish. Also use digital coupons from your local grocer’s website, if applicable, to increase your saving during your shopping trip. Use both of those items as tools to create your shopping list and meal plan list. (see below) Stock up on sale items so you’ll be able to shop your pantry in the future.
Create a shopping list
You’ll want to review your ad and jot down products you are interested in purchasing. This will keep you organized in the store. You can survey your pantry to determine what items you are low on such as salt and pepper, butter or olive oil. You may also want to create a meal plan list for the week or month based on the items you are purchasing. Reviewing your meal list can help you notice if you have forgotten something before heading to the store.
Eating seasonal produces is a healthier way to stretch your grocery dollar. In season items are likely less inexpensive due to availability of the produce. But what’s in season? In the Spring/Summer, you’ll see cherries, berries, peaches, plums, nectarines, and apricots in the fruit section. And the following vegetables are in season: artichokes, squash, bell peppers, green beans, Vidalia onions, zucchini, and B-size red potatoes. In the Fall/Winter you’ll find apples, oranges, pumpkins, hard squash (butternut, acorn), sweet potato, and yellow onions. Produce you’ll find year-round are cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, tomatoes, spinach, potatoes, and iceberg lettuce.
Purchase our private labels products
Products from our brand and sister brands (Always Save and Clearly) are comparable to the national brand. The Best Choice brand products are priced lower than the leading national brands because they don’t carry the advertising and promotional costs that the national brands have. Which gives you, the consumer, the opportunity to stretch your grocery dollars.