The pandemic has plunged the world into an economic crisis and everyone we know is penny-pinching trying, by all means, to still keep a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. You can never have too much budgeting advice, so in this post, we have a few nuggets of advice on how to stock up your pantry on a budget.
1. Shop Around The Edges Of The Supermarket
The perimeter of your local supermarket is where you’ll find all the fresh produce, meat and dairy products. These are generally more expensive than items in the middle aisles, but they’re also healthier for you. To save money on healthy ingredients, stock up on staples such as grains, legumes and canned fish from the aisles at the center of your supermarket. This will help you create quick, easy and healthy meals.
2. Buy In Bulk
Purchasing food and groceries in bulk might save you money, but make sure you have the capacity to store your basket load. Going through this week’s Walgreens weekly ad, for example, you will find $1 to $5 off coupons, with the more significant discounts being for bulk purchases like the Pampers super pack diapers. It makes sense to stock up on diapers, you can even store them in the laundry room, but when you buy food in bulk, you need good storage to keep it fresh.
You don’t want to buy a case of canned foods just to run out of space in your pantry or cupboards. You can solve this problem by using some storage bags and containers. Bags are ideal for storing additional dry foods such as grains, beans, pasta, and other such items. Containers on the other hand, will help you with the cans.
If you decide to use containers only, make sure you get airtight food storage containers for anything else other than cans. This is because the presence of air will accelerate the spoilage process. Check for an O-ring or gasket around the lid of your food storage container to see if it’s airtight. In this absence, air may enter your container, potentially causing spoiling.
3. Rush To The Bulk Bins
Supermarkets also often have bulk bins of grains, legumes and nuts that are significantly cheaper than prepackaged items. The trick is to only buy what you need because these items can go rancid quickly. If you find yourself with an extra quantity of a certain ingredient, consider freezing it for later use. This is a great way to stock up on grains, legumes and nuts without them going bad.
4. Make A List of What You Require and Stick to It.
Avoid walking around the store with your cart only to get distracted by all the wonderful deals on sale. The goal is to only buy what you need for that week, not necessarily what is on sale that day. You can also google and print out a grocery list and use it as a guide while shopping at the store. This will help you stay focused on your budget and what you need for the week.
5. Freeze Food for Longer Storage
Did you know that you can freeze groceries like rice, flour, cornmeal, uncooked pasta and most grains and nuts for months before you use them? This means if you find them at a great price, and if you have the freezer space, go for it!
Moreover, buying large quantities of meat when it’s on sale can be a great way to save money. You just have to be careful that it doesn’t go bad before you can use it. So when meat is on sale, stock up and freeze the excess. You can freeze large pieces of meat like roasts and steaks whole, or you can slice them into portions and freeze those. Portioning your meat makes it easier to defrost just what you need for a meal without wasting.