young girl and woman shopping for produce

Paying more than you’d like at the supermarket? Here are some tips to help you bring down the bill.

Whether you’re responsible for feeding just yourself or a family of five (or more), the cost of groceries can add up fast for any household. Considering food is a necessity of life, finding ways to lower the supermarket bill can be an effective way to boost your budget. We’ve put together a few tricks to help:

1. Make a Menu

Start building this week’s menu from what you already have. Look through your fridge, freezer and pantry and find some things you can create meals around. Pro Tip: Create theme nights for easy planning; like Meatless Monday or Taco Tuesday.

2. Choose Your Stores Wisely

Not all supermarkets are the same! The grocery store you choose to shop at can have a huge impact on your monthly budget. Look around and find the store that has what you regularly need at a lower cost.

3. Check the Ads

Grab the latest flyer from your mailbox or check online to see what kind of deals your grocery store is offering this week, and add those discounted items to the menu you started.

4. Shop With the Seasons

Different types of produce are harvested during various times of the year. For example, avocadoes and tomatoes are harvested in the summer, while oranges and brussels sprouts are typically gathered in the winter. Buying produce that is in-season generally is less expensive.

5. Find the Frozen Aisle

In most cases, frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh produce – and much cheaper! Stock your freezer with the items you typically buy fresh to save a few bucks.

6. Buy Only What You Need

There is still a need to keep fresh produce on hand, but make sure to only get what you can eat before it goes bad! Eat the produce that will expire the quickest first. Wasted fruit and vegetables are wasted money.

Of course, there will still be some staple items you may not be able to stock up on or find alternatives for, like eggs or milk, but a little creativity and planning can help keep your grocery bills from busting your budget.

If you’re not sure where to start with setting your grocery budget goals, check out the Official USDA Food Plans for some guidance.

Looking for more ways to save? Here are five ways to reach your financial goals.