Because of the financial strain coronavirus has caused, this summer you may be even more conscious than ever of food costs. Fortunately, there are ways you can spend less on food this summer.
1. Shop at a Farmer’s Market
Right now, some farmers are throwing out food and watching as food rots from spoilage. Many are unable to sell their produce in the usual way due to coronavirus restrictions.
Although unfortunate, you may be able to take advantage and buy food for less through an online farmer’s market. You could spend less on food and, at the same time, help out a farmer by lowering their financial losses.
2. Use Coupons
You can use paper coupons from magazines and newspapers, printable online coupons, and mailings from your favorite grocery stores. You can even get coupons on eBay.
For further savings, you can do what I do and sign up for e-coupons online. They’re automatically applied by swiping my membership card or entering my phone number during checkout at the store.
3. Buy Food in Bulk
I urge you to use caution when choosing this method to spend less on food this summer. If you don’t use what you buy before it expires, you won’t save money. But there are ways to strategically buy in bulk, so read on.
4. Split Bulk Buys with Others
Let’s say you want to buy food in bulk but know you can’t use it all before it expires. Try using this food hack I’ve used with my daughter a few times: split bulk buys with others.
Don’t limit yourself to only buying canned and packaged food this way. Some vegetables and fruits can be purchased this way too. When you split the purchase, you might be able to use larger quantities before the food spoils. It’s a great way to spend less on food.
5. Don’t Buy These Items
To spend less on food this summer, avoid buying these items when you can:
- Kitchen items
- Personal hygiene products
- Office supplies
- Cleaning products
- Books, magazines, and movies
- Prepared food
- Premade lunch products
6. Buy Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables
When you buy fruits and vegetables that are in season, they’re generally cheaper as well as better tasting. If you’re unsure when certain foods are in season, consult the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
7. Ask for Rain Checks
Are you wondering what rain checks are? Some stores give out what they call, “rain checks” if shelves are empty of sale items. Once they are back in stock, you can purchase them for the sale price even if the sale is over.
8. Skip Grocery Subscription Services
Grocery subscription services are becoming more popular as people try to save time and avoid the hassle of shopping at the store. Unfortunately, having groceries delivered can negatively impact your checkbook with higher food costs.
If you want to spend less on food this summer, cancel your grocery delivery service and do your own shopping.
9 Shop Sales and Markdowns
Many stores send out sales flyers either by mail or email. You can sign up with your favorite stores to receive their sales flyers and spend less on food this summer.
Additionally, most stores have markdown shelves with just expired or nearly expired items. Check with the stores you frequent to find out where their markdown shelves are located to save on food costs.
10 Watch Expiration Dates
To save the most when shopping for food, watch expiration dates. You don’t want to buy most foods right before they expire if you can’t use them in time.
11 Rotate Your Food at Home
Just like a grocery store, you can rotate your own food at home to ensure you use the oldest first. Better yet, always put the newest packaged foods at the back of your pantry. You’ll avoid wasting food and spend less on food overall.
12. Use Alternative Cooking Methods
Do you hate to turn on the oven and heat up your house in the summer? I do, because we already seem to spend enough to keep the house reasonably cool during the summer months.
If you can relate, consider using alternative cooking methods to prepare meals. I’ve been doing this for years. While it doesn’t save on the actual food costs, it does lower my food expenses.
Try using a crockpot, instapot, roaster, or toaster oven to cook meals rather than heating your home up for several hours with an oven.
Summing it Up
When you’re trying to lower your food budget, there are several ways you can spend less on food this summer. Try out a few of these ideas to save money and still eat well all summer.
Track All Your Accounts With Personal CapitalPersonal Capital lets you see all of your accounts in one convenient place. Sign up now for free.
Have you found unique ways to save money on your summer food budget?