According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average American family of four (two adults, two kids) spends almost $1300 for food every month, not counting food they eat away from home.
That totals over $400 for food each week, and it’s highly likely some of that food goes to waste if you don’t use it quickly enough. In fact, a survey by the American Chemistry Council showed half of 1,000 adults surveyed pitched food weekly, food they bought but never used.
So if you can avoid tossing even a small amount of the food you buy, you’ll save money. Save with these 12 tips as well:
- Tailor your menus to take advantage of weekly grocery ads.
- Make use of items when they’re in season and plentiful.
- Buy fewer “convenience” foods and ingredients – do your own slicing/dicing/shredding/washing.
- Use what’s in your fridge & pantry, get creative with items you have.
- Think ahead of expiration dates, try freezing items before deadlines.
- Limit your grocery shopping trips, and don’t go when you’re hungry.
- Make a grocery list, using it to avoid impulse buying.
- Try the store’s private label items instead of popular name brands.
- Compare sizes. “Economy size” might not be the best price per unit.
- Use coupons.
- Stock up on basics when on sale. (They’re eventually on sale.)
- Ask your store if a competitor’s price can be matched.
Need menu planning tips and recipes? Check the Iowa State University Extension site, Eat Smart, Spend Smart .