As a college student, it can be hard to save money and eat well. Here are 5 tips to help your budget stretch further and save you some money on groceries.
Write down foods that you like and want to make. Be sure to include all of your meals and snacks for the week. When you make a meal plan, you can choose to include recipes that use in-season produce. Meal planning helps you to use materials that you have already purchased like eggs, milk, and other staples in your diet. Plan meals that you can eat more than once and save some for meals later in the week. You can also plan meals that share ingredients. Both of these tips make it so you can buy larger quantities of specific foods, which usually ends up costing less per ounce.
Use your meal plan to create your list. Write down all the ingredients that you will need that you don’t already have and any other items you need to get from the store, like laundry detergent or shampoo. Once you have your list together, take it with you when you shop. If you are really trying to save money, don’t go to the store without a list. While you are at the store, limit how many items you can get that are not on your list. This limit is helpful if you see something in the store you forgot or to get something small that you would like. Keep it to only one or two extra items. Sticking to a list and limiting your extras will help you stick to a budget and save money.
All fruits and vegetables have a season that has the most yield. Knowing what season your produce is harvested will help you save money because this is when the produce is at the lowest price and best quality.
Use this website or check out the list below to find out what food is in season near you.
Some stores have coupons and weekly ads online where you can find good deals on certain items. You can use these ads to help you make your meal plan or you can make your meal plan and see if any of your needed items are in these ads. Some of the stores that have weekly ads are Albertsons, Smith's, and Harmons. Check out their websites to see how much you can save.
There are apps that give you money back after you buy items. These apps can be used for groceries, medicine, and household products. There are several apps you can use to save money on groceries. Ibotta, Checkout 51, and Fetch all work in a similar way. You just upload your receipt into the app and it will start adding money to your account if one of your purchases qualifies for any savings. Then when you have enough you can have them send you a gift card to the store of your choice.
If you use these tips and tricks, you will be sure to save some money the next time you go to the store.