It’s 2022, and your ketchup now costs an entire dollar more than last year. Even though inflation has supposedly settled down, prices at the grocery store certainly haven’t. Takeout’s not exactly a cheaper alternative, even if it is just a Big Mac. So, what do you do now? It’s finally time to sit down and meal plan. And price check. And batch cook. But don’t worry — it’s not as tedious as it sounds, and your bank account will thank you for it. Here are some tips to make sure your wallet stays nice and thick.
You don’t have to sit around clipping coupons anymore; now you can enjoy saving money through apps. Flipp compiles all the weekly flyers in your area and shows you the best deals based on what you’re shopping for. This way, you don’t waste time manually flipping through store flyers. It also lets you set notifications for expiring offers and shows the most popular and trending deals. Swagbucks is an online digital rewards platform that allows you to earn money as well. Flashfood lets you find highly discounted deals on food with lower shelf life, which also helps reduce food wastage.
Batch Cooking and Meal Prepping
Cook once and eat all week (or month) while saving money with batch cooking. There are several ways to do this, and it can be as simple or as complicated as you’d like. If you’re a casserole person, make a couple and freeze them. You can plan casseroles for an entire month, especially if you’re trying to feed a family. Sauté, portion, and freeze veggies so you have a healthy side ready to go with any meal. Make freezable mini egg muffins so you have a quick breakfast option every morning. You can also take the extra step to portion out meals for every day of the week. There are numerous recipes and methods online, so jam out to your favourite chore playlist and make it a fun experience every Sunday!
Freeze When You Can
My life changed the day I found out I could freeze bread. You can freeze sliced bread, English muffins, bagels, you name it! This way, I can grab whatever I want for breakfast without it being repetitive, and it’s not a struggle to finish a loaf of bread by the expiry date. You can also marinate meat and freeze portions in Ziploc bags. Whenever you need it, you’ll have flavourful meat that’s ready to cook. Meat is usually the priciest item in the shopping cart, so when you see it on sale, it’s smart to buy and store in the freezer until you need it. Just make sure it’s packaged properly to avoid freezer burn.
Shop for Groceries Online
Make a list and only buy things you need online if you can. I find that whenever I go into the store, I waste time looking at snack items and putting things in the cart that don’t need to be there, especially if I’m hungry. Not only does shopping online and using pick-up or delivery options make it more convenient, but it also makes checking the price per unit easier. For example, if there’s a box of three air fresheners for $8, but an individual one only sells for $2.20, you’re paying an extra $0.46 more per unit with the bulk option. Buying store brands whenever possible will also save you a significant amount over time.
Helen Jacob | Staff Writer