Grocery Shopping on a Budget: 10 Ways to Keep Rising Food Costs in Check

Christine Ryan Jyoti

7. Buy in season. “This allows for savings [because you’re purchasing when] products are typically more plentiful and available,” Crowson says. A juicy tip: If you’re hitting up farmers’ markets for locally grown produce, try going toward the end of the day. “[Vendors] don’t want to have to pack the items up and haul them back to the farm,” he adds.

8. Join community-supported agriculture (CSA) groups. “Basically, you buy a share in a local farm’s annual crops and receive boxes containing any combination of fruits, vegetables, eggs, meats, baked goods, herbs, cheese or flowers,” Woroch explains. Some CSAs even set up payment plans, so clients don’t have to shell out for their entire share at once. “Community supported agriculture ensures you eat nothing but the freshest food, while saving a surprising amount of money,” she adds.

RELATED: The CSA Craze: Is It Really Worth the Money?

9. Consider frozen foods. “Frozen fruits and veggies are an economical way to get your nutrients during any season,” Woroch says. And since produce is flash-frozen at its peak ripeness and nutrient content, there’s no need to worry about lack of flavor or healthfulness. For an even better deal, Woroch suggests opting for store brands, as well as shopping at wholesalers like Costco.

10. Buy in bulk. Speaking of Costco, if you have storage space and carefully watch those “best before” dates, says Crowson, buying in bulk is a great way to save. Meat and seafood, in particular, tends to cost less per pound when bought in big quantities.

That said, don’t just fill your cupboards and freezer with items you’ll forget about or get sick of eating. “The savings evaporate,” Crowson says, “when you have to throw out product because it’s past its expiry date.”

RELATED: Secrets of a Coupon Queen: How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

  • ksgirl73

    I have to disagree with #1. I’ve never seen reduced prices on perishables on a Wednesday night.

  • Valerie

    Great article! There has been a lot of press about meat prices going up, but not a lot of discussion explaining why (droughts and sickness) and not a lot of discussion on produce going up in price even more significantly! Thanks for being well rounded and giving us some hints!

  • elisha reverby

    ummmm it’s not all thanks to mother nature that costs have gone up – it is thanks to human consumption, bad habits and climate change due to those bad habits. dont blame nature. we all need to take responsibility for this mess!

  • elisha reverby

    and p.s. you can blame the disgusting and inhumane practices of factory farms for the viruses and disease that lingers on our meat supply. whoever wrote this article needs to face reality.

  • Lara Rosenblum

    I think this is fine for people who have a lot of time to dedicate to grocery shopping (e.g. prep the night before for a sale the following day to know what’s on sale) – but as a working mother who is trying to feed her family healthy, non-antibitically enriched, pesticide-free foods, this is not helpful at all. Where is the advice on knowing the difference between sustainably farmed vs. organic food (and the fact that USDA ORGANIC labeling is pretty much a scam, since KRAFT is on the board of USDA ORGANIC?) – this is not mentioned here. Also, when I shop at Trader Joe’s, it is already deeply discounted and generally has a good selection. Some stores are better than others – where is the advice on the 5 best nation-wide supermarkets?

  • angela1a

    Excuse me but right off the bat, you sound very ignorant. it isnt Mother Nature wrecking havoc with the food supply, better read some more.