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Grocery shopping can get expensive, especially when you’re shopping on an empty stomach and every single snack you see becomes a “necessity.” It might feel like spending half your paycheck on food is inevitable, but we’re here to prove otherwise. Follow our top tips on how to cut costs at the grocery store – your pockets will thank you later.

Waste Not, Want Not

The less food you end up throwing away, the more meals you get from what you buy. Meal planning is a great way to ensure you only buy what you need. Take inventory before you go shopping and only supplement what you need to use that week. Plus, these savings can make a big impact on the planet: Less food waste can reduce pollution and conserve the resources used to grow and ship our food. It’s a win-win.

Store Brand Savings

Another way we like to save is by purchasing store-brand items. These items are often less expensive than name-brand items, and you can usually find some great coupons in your store app. Be sure to check your store app first to get the best discounts on what you buy most. As you’re meal planning, use your app to find coupons and check your fridge and pantry as you make your list so you don’t buy what you already have.

Veggies Are Your Best Friend

We get it, you’re a meat-and-potatoes kind of person. But even when you try to buy inexpensive cuts of meat you don’t have much leftover room in your grocery budget. Substituting fresh, in-season vegetables in dishes 1 night a week that you’d normally use meat or fish in will not only save you big bucks, but it will also add plenty of hearty fiber to keep you full. For example, you can make this Salmon Coconut Curry with Rice with a can of chickpeas instead of buying a packet of frozen salmon. How’s THAT for savings?

For more ways to supplement veggies for meat check out: The Absolute Best Thing You Can Do to Save Money on Groceries

Bulk Up!

Here at Savory, we LOVE value packs. The answer is in the name: They really do hold more value! These larger packages are often a better value by volume than smaller packages that cost less. Take out what you need for the week, then store the rest in your freezer or pantry. Inexpensive dry goods like canned beans and tomatoes, pasta, and grains are also great things to stack up on since they can be stored for longer periods of time. It’s that simple.

Store Smart

You can usually find great deals on proteins at your local grocery store, but make sure you’re storing them correctly to avoid waste. When you buy proteins on sale, make sure to freeze them in resealable freezer bags. This helps you store the meat for longer periods of time, resulting in less money spent. Thaw the night before you plan to cook. The same idea goes for fruits and veggies: To keep produce fresh, pat dry with paper towels, store in resealable storage bags, and refrigerate.

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