Everyone is feeling the summer heat here in Texas. Even as a short and long overdue rain graced us last week, the water quickly evaporated, much like our finances in this drought of inflation. We’re paying more for electricity (thanks for passing on the buck, ERCOT!), for gasoline, and for groceries. Grocery savings is top of mind for me too lately.
So I’ve spent the past month researching and experimenting with my own grocery shopping and want to share a few grocery savings tips and observations:
- No one store is always going to have the best deal. Even though a recent comparison trip (see below) showed a savings at Walmart of over 20% compared to HEB, there are many other items that HEB has for less. Conclusion: pay attention to all the store ads which are published every Wednesday. Last week, Kroger was the winner for asparagus, shrimp, and drumsticks (among many deals there).
- Buying bulk can save a lot of money. You say you don’t need 20 lbs of rice? Split the cost or share it with friends and family. Currently a 20 lb bag of Basmati rice at Walmart is $19.96, which is less than $1 per lb. Compare that with Walmart’s price of $4.43 for 2 lbs = $2.21/lb. Other items to buy in bulk might include flour, toilet paper, paper towels, soap. Check here for more bulk buy ideas!
- If you are okay with buying meat near or at its “best buy” date, go first thing in the morning to shop for meat at a heavy discount. If you’re lucky, you might even get it at its pre-pandemic price! Meat can typically be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. But definitely check with the meat experts as you plan.
- Eat vegetarian or vegan – every once in a while. Arguably, meat is typically the most expensive purchase at a grocery store. So if you can go days without it, it will make an impact to your budget. I’ve tried several Forks over Knives recipes and have NOT missed meat at all. These recipes feature wonderful flavors and textures!
- And if you think saving money on food will require you to sacrifice flavor, experiment with some new spices. We save money on these by buying them in our HEB bulk section. I mean, we save LOTS of money. Last week, I got Italian seasoning there: the equivalent of a half jar cost 32 cents in the bulk section.
- Get inspired and informed about saving money on groceries by following some YouTubers. I recommend Fit Frugal Mom and See Mindy Mom.
- Though discount grocery stores are few in our area, be on the lookout for day-old bread stores and “salvage” grocery stores. Some regular grocery stores keep a section or kiosk of clearance foods. And Target end caps (the short ends of the grocery shelves) are well known for their variety and savings.
- Take a week and skip the stores. In other words, shop your pantry. I’ve written before about the Supercook app. You input what you have on hand, and the app will give you multitudes of recipes.
Comment below and let us know your grocery savings tips!