With food prices going up, there’s never been a greater time to channel your inner frugalista.
Instead of having a panic attack at the sight of prices for cauliflower and broccoli, make an action plan to save money at the grocery store.
Here are a few ways to do that.
• The bulk section is your new best friend. People tend to hear “buy in bulk” and think of things like granola and nuts. Sure, those items are there, but most bulk sections contain far more than that: think noodles, rice, quinoa, seeds, nut butters, beans, soup mixes, and all kinds of cereal. Then there’s baking ingredients like flour, sugar, and cornmeal. You can also find bulk salad greens. You will spend less money on all of these items by shopping this way than by picking up packaged ones.
• Look for seasonal, local produce. Chefs have been touting the beauty and benefits of local, seasonal menus for years; home cooks should do the same if they want to cut back on their spending. Strawberries and tomatoes are out.
Among the items in season in B.C. in January are apples, cabbage, pears, turnips, and winter squash. Check out the B.C. Association of Farmers’ Markets for a full, year-long list.
• Consider frozen produce. If you must have items like raspberries and spinach, check out the grocery store’s frozen section.
• Scrutinize prices. To accurately compare prices between two or more goods, you need to look at the unit price. It’s always there in teeny print next to the item’s actual price. This will enable you to compare apples to apples, so to speak, regardless of differences in a product’s size, weight, volume, or number of items it contains.