Going to the grocery store can be quite an overwhelming task. The crowds of people, the endless options and competing prices will make your head spin before you finally get to the cashier. And once you’re there, you have no idea how half the things got in your basket. You’ve sworn to yourself time and time again that you’d get organized, but just don’t know how to start.
We’ve got you covered with some handy tips to turn you into a meal planning pro.
1. Avoid impulse shopping by taking the time to make a list of items you actually need and STICK TO IT. This will also give you time to look over the weekly deals and find things that work for multiple meals.
2. These days, you can usually find whatever produce you want no matter what time of year it is. But beware: if the items aren’t in season, you’ll end up paying a lot more for it.
3. Shop sales, but shop smart. If the sale says it’s 6/$10, you don’t necessarily have to get 6 items — or there could be limits on how many you can purchase.
4. If you find an item in a sales paper but it’s out of stock by the time you get to the store, ask for a raincheck so you don’t miss out on the deals.
5. Pre-prepared food is nice, but it pays to be a little less lazy.
6. Boneless chicken is roughly $2/lb more expensive than those with the bones left in.
7. Find out when your butcher marks down meat for the day. You can get a deal and have it for dinner that evening, or freeze it to use later.
8. Grocery stores typically rotate the items which are about to expire to the front of the shelf, so take a reach to the back for stuff that’ll last longer.
9. Comparing unit prices will help you find the best deal between brand names.
10. Again, check the unit price and compare the sales to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
11. Bones from meat and scraps from veggies usually get tossed away. Instead, save them in your freezer to flavor-up some broth later on.
12. Well, practically everything. Using a vacuum sealer is ideal, but most food can be frozen and used later if stored properly.
13. All Target clearance tags let you know how much you’re saving. Also, if the price ends in 6 or 8, it will be marked down again, but if it ends in 4 it’s the final markdown.
14. Most Targets offer $0.05 towards your purchase for every reusable bag you bring.
Now you’re ready to hit the shelves with confidence!
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