by Christy Bieber | Updated July 21, 2021 - First published on Oct. 23, 2020
Many or all of the products here are from our partners. We may earn a commission from offers on this page. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.
Cheaper groceries are within reach.
As COVID-19 continues to cause economic uncertainty, it's more important than ever to watch every dollar. For many families, groceries are a major expense. Finding ways to reduce the cost of food purchases can make a big difference.
Good news: There are lots of ways to reduce your monthly grocery bill.
Some are obvious, like using coupons and having a grocery rewards credit card. But there are other, less-obvious strategies that provide substantial savings. Here are three of them.
Tips and tricks from the experts delivered straight to your inbox that could help you save thousands of dollars. Sign up now for free access to our Personal Finance Boot Camp.
By submitting your email address, you consent to us sending you money tips along with products and services that we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe at any time. Please read our Privacy Statement and Terms & Conditions.
CSA stands for "community sponsored agriculture." If you join a CSA, you can support a local farm by buying a share of their crops while also slashing the amount you spend on healthy fruits and vegetables.
With a CSA, you're buying directly from the farmer and cutting out the middleman. As a result, the prices are often much lower. The downside is that you don't get to pick which produce you get every week -- but that helps you avoid food ruts and can make you a more adventurous cook.
When my husband and I joined our CSA, we were able to increase our consumption of healthy organic fruits and vegetables. Cost-wise, it was like getting a 10% discount on grocery store produce. Best of all, the farmers from our CSA send out an email with suggested recipes every week based on what we're getting in our batch. We've discovered some cool dishes we wouldn't have otherwise have tried.
You may notice a theme here -- going directly to the farmer can provide big savings. In this case, however, you're buying a cow (or a pig) rather than your fruits and veggies.
Many local farmers will allow you to buy a quarter, half, or even whole cow or pig depending on your preferences. They'll butcher it and process the meat for you and you'll get a bunch of different cuts of meat, along with some ground beef or pork.
This can be substantially cheaper than buying meat at the grocery store, but again you'll need to be a little more creative in your recipe selection since you'll likely get some cuts you might not have normally bought. In this case, you'll also need a big freezer to store all your meat.
Finally, you can save both time and money by batch cooking. Essentially, this involves buying a lot of an item when it's on sale (think pasta sauce or ground beef) and then making up a huge batch of one or more recipes that use that item. You can then divide up your big meal into portion sizes appropriate for you or your family and freeze them.
This saves you money in a couple ways. For one thing, you're basing your meals around ingredients that are on sale. And for another, you'll have a whole bunch of meals ready in your freezer so you can avoid eating out when you don't feel like cooking -- or avoid even having to purchase many groceries in weeks when money gets tight or there aren't any good bargains.
Reducing your grocery bill doesn't have to mean compromising on food quality. If you follow these three suggestions, you may even be able to eat healthier local food than you currently consume -- with a little more money in your pocket.
If you have credit card debt, transferring it to this top balance transfer card secures you a 0% intro APR into 2023! Plus, you’ll pay no annual fee. Those are just a few reasons why our experts rate this card as a top pick to help get control of your debt. Read The Ascent's full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.
We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.
The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters.
Copyright © 2018 - 2021 The Ascent. All rights reserved.