How to Save Money on Groceries During the Coronavirus Pandemic

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With the country experiencing record levels of unemployment and the prices of certain goods skyrocketing, keeping the cost of groceries down can be difficult amid the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Labor Department, the amount of money Americans spent on groceries jumped by 2.6% in April as the COVID-19 outbreak hit its peak.

Luckily, there are a few things consumers can do to make sure their trip to the supermarket stays within their budget.

Make a List

It may sound obvious, but making a list in advance will cut down on time spent roaming the aisles in your face covering and also make it less likely to buy things you don’t need. “You should map out what you’re going to cook, make a shopping list and stick to it,” dietician Elizabeth Somer told Yahoo Finance.

Keep it Frozen

Although the cost of fresh meat and chicken has gone up, the price of their frozen counterparts have remained pretty much the same. And while there are reports of beef shortages, finding frozen items has been easier to come by as of late. “I know a lot of frozen food cases were decimated for the past couple of weeks, but for the most part, they’ve now been restocked into almost full,” food industry analyst Phil Lempert told CNBC.

Go Meatless

According to Forbes, the cost of a hamburger dinner for four costs approximately four times the price if you substituted it with a black bean burger. In addition, some plant-based meat companies have been slashing prices by as much as 15% to make their products more appetizing to consumers.

Avoid Prepared Foods

It takes more effort, but making things from scratch is cheaper than processed or prepared meals. “Buying fewer prepared foods and more ingredients to cook meals from scratch is cost effective,” Lehman added. Preparing your own meals also allows you to make larger quantities so that you can have leftovers for another day or two.

Coupons

Clipping coupons isn’t just for your grandmother anymore. And these days you don’t even need scissors as digital coupons have grown in popularity. Coupons.com is a great source of savings and even has a handy app so you can peruse it on your phone as you shop.

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