During a Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has made people’s life very difficult. Carmela Archival and her hubby are clipping coupons and finding for grocery deals on apps such as “Amazon” before buying butter lettuce, protein, fruit and yogurt. Doing research ahead of time saves her money and reduces the amount of time she spends inside a grocery store. During these distancing times, if you want to make the most of your grocery store visit, so the prep starts at home. Take stock of what food/ thing you have on hand and write a meal plan and grocery list for the week based on that plan to avoid impulse buys. Of the participants who attended last week’s “Food Matters” webinar, 89 percent make a grocery list, including Belinda Wisdom, administrative coordinator for faculty affairs at Duke Divinity School. I know everything that’s on it is going to keep me fed for the week, that’s why I try not to venture off my list. If you were to buy anything off the list, then it would be a waste of money because you know it’s not essential for you. One of Scott’s top saving tips is to inspect unit price when deciding how much of a thing to buy. Unit Price of an item, typically found next to the actual cost on the shelf, shows the price of an item based on cost per ounce, pound, litre, kilogram or other measurement. Buying in bulk is cheaper because it requires fewest materials and labor to package items. For example, it is less expensive to buy one large container of yogurt than individual containers if you eat yogurt often. “If your goal is to get the biggest value of what you’re buying, then unit price can really help you with that,” she said. “You’re getting more product for the money.” Grocery shopping is a remarkable expense for most families and households, but there are ways to make it more reasonable.

Here are some ways to save groceries in Covid-19

 How to Make Wise Grocery Shopping Choices:

  1. Go armed with a list and stick to it, especially if your kids are “helping”.
  2.   Remember plan your meals for the week before you shop and then buy what’s on the menu. Begin with planning for 3 or 4 days if all week seems too much.  
  3.  Shop only once a week. You will tend to spend more if you stop at the store every day or several times a week.
  4.  Shop when you have energy and aren’t worn out from a busy day. It’s easier to focus and make wise choices when you’ve got energy and aren’t preoccupied.  
  5. Return your bottles and cans for the deposit that you paid. If you’ve got children, get them to help with this job and let them keep the cash they earn. 
  6.  Shop in familiar stores when you’re tired, stressed or in a hurry. You’ll find what you need and be able to get out with what you need quickly. 

Plan Ahead to Save Money on Food and Grocery Shopping:

  1. Plan meals so that you have leftovers for lunch the next day, or freeze leftovers for a quick meal another day.
  2. Package your own treats, juices and snacks. Buy the large package or snacks and a box of baggies and make your own individually wrapped packages to grab on the run.  
  3. Buy less canned and packaged convenience foods and shred your own lettuce and cheese (cheeses often freeze well too
  4.  Clean out your fridge and cupboards once a month. Use up what you bought before buying more.
  5.  Organize your food storage cupboards and drawers. If you don’t know what you have or can’t find what you bought, you’ll end up buying more of the same unnecessarily.  
  6. If you stock up, watch expiry dates and package the food to preserve it as long as needed.  
  7.  If you buy large packages or meat, pre–cook or marinate it and then freeze it to speed up meal times.

If You Only Try One Tip to Save Money on Grocery Shopping:

 If you only want to try one tip, make it a really good one. By planning ahead, you can make your shopping list based on what you already have, what you still need to buy and what’s on sale. Making an easy, nutritious, budget-conscious menu plan doesn’t have to be hard. Start with two or three dinners, plan for leftovers so that you’ve got work lunches, add in some snacks and keep quick and easy breakfast foods on hand. Just like with anything new, give it a try before you decide that you don’t like it. Saving time and money might just agree with you and your budget!

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