Did you know it takes approximately 15.3 gallons of water to produce 16 almonds? Yes, 16. That is what the New York Times reported earlier this year as an example of how the drought in California is affecting the country’s almond crop.
How is this relevant? It also impacts grocery prices. In addition to almonds, broccoli, garlic, and spinach are grown in California, where a years-long draught has driven up cost.
Eggs, orange juice, coffee, and chicken have all been affected, giving grocers sticker shock, and making it more difficult for families to make ends meet. Thankfully, there are things you can do to save money on your grocery bill, as cited by Melissa A. Kay of Forbes.
Feeding a family isn’t cheap these days, but if you’re smart about what and how much you buy, where you buy it, and how you store and use it, you can see considerable savings while still eating well. — Kay, Forbes
1. Social Media
In addition to the number of mobile apps and coupon programs provided by grocery stories, following your retailer on social media is a way to get even bigger savings. Sometimes grocery stores will run contests or promotions solely for their social media audience.
2. Manager’s Specials
When groceries approach their expiration date, prices will go down to move them off the shelves. If you have time to walk through your local grocery store, look for mark-downs on produce and other items that will expire.
3. Eat In-Season Produce
Choose produce that is in season to ensure quality taste and low cost, suggests food-marketing expert Phil Lempert. If the produce you are looking for is out of season, opt for its frozen counterpart. Even better, the frozen version of in-season produce will often go on sale.
4. Save the Leftovers
Extend your dinner by saving leftover vegetables and meats for other dishes such as soups and stews, use overripe fruit for smoothies, sauté vegetables when they are close to going bad, and use stale bread for croutons or french toast.
5. Beyond Beef
… and chicken and fish. Protein doesn’t have to be meat. Beans are a fantastic (and cheaper) alternative and can be used in a variety of ways.
Lempert suggests opting for the supermarket brand to save even more – oftentimes up to 20 percent off name brands, he says. Mix them into salads, soups, casseroles, or with pasta. Puree leftovers to make dips and spreads. — Forbes
6. Bakery Before Dusk
Instead of shopping for baked goods in the morning when they are fresh, stop by the bakery at the end of the day when stores are selling goods at a low price or even giving them away. You can use them to following day or freeze them if you don’t need them right away.
7. Dollar Store Dining?
If you’re really dedicated, swing by your local dollar store to find name brand items at a lower price. You can find everything from pasta and cereal to canned goods.
“Look for deals beyond your local grocery store,” said Lempert to Forbes. “Dollar stores often have upscale items for savings.”