CHELSEA BARBER COLUMN: Ways to shop smarter while staying on budget – The Stanly News & Press


With unexpected changes in food costs, it can be difficult to prepare healthy meals without going over budget. Let’s stop overspending and stressing about our meals each week.

Chelsea Barber

Start planning ahead and take advantage of sales with price comparison and daily deals. Having these tips to ponder will hopefully make your experiences at the grocery store enjoyable without the constant worry of spending more than your pockets allow.

Before going to the grocery store, it is important to have a list prepared with all the ingredients you need to buy. This will help reduce the time spent at the store. Once you know what you want to buy ahead of time, go online and browse coupons from your local grocery store or find items on sale in the newspaper to ensure you’re getting the best value for the amount. you want to spend. . There are also discount cards available to sign up for if the other options are not available to you.

During your shopping spree, it’s very easy to get distracted and start picking up all the foods that look good when you’re hungry. That’s why it’s important to eat before your shopping spree.

This will ensure that you have a clear idea of ​​what to buy without buying unnecessary foods that are not on your shopping list. Don’t be afraid to buy the store brand, as the food item will likely be the same as the brand name, but without the high price tag attached to it.

Always check the “best before” dates on foods to reduce premature spoilage and wasted money. If you buy something with an early expiration date, be sure to use that item first so you don’t waste your money. Buying frozen and canned food takes longer than fresh produce. If you’re buying fresh produce, make sure it’s in season as it usually costs less than out of season.

Once you have finished shopping, be sure to store the food properly according to what is written on the label. This will ensure that you don’t cause your food to spoil, which is, in effect, wasting money. If you have purchased foods in bulk, especially those that are fresh, it is best to separate them into small packages and freeze them.

Again, we want to shop smart without having to run to the grocery store every day because of forgotten foods or spending out of budget because we didn’t have coupons. Make your trip to the grocery store worth it by planning ahead, reading labels and comparing brands.

After reviewing these nifty tips, I hope you can’t wait to start making your purchases worth every penny. If you have any questions or need additional assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me, Chelsea Barber, at [email protected] or 704-983-3987.

Chelsea Barber is a nutrition program assistant in the Stanly County office of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension.


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