10 Easy Ways to Save Money on Groceries this Summer
We're saving up for a summer vacation! Here are 10 ways to cut your grocery bill and create extra cash for sunshine-y fun.
TORONTO, CANADA - OCTOBER 31, 2014: .; Shutterstock ID 237880114; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOH
1. Buy frozen treats in bulk.
Because not even the best breakfast in the world can compete with ice cream the kids have been waiting for all winter. Frozen treats are a must! Make some room in the chest freezer for inexpensive frozen pops—or make your own with fresh fruit.
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2. Take advantage of sales at the grocery store.
Stock up on whatever’s on sale in your produce section. Take advantage of quantity discounts by buying with a friend or freezing what can’t be eaten right away. You’ll have the fixings for refreshing strawberry lemonade smoothies all summer!
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3. Check out nearby pick-your-own farms.
Pick-your-own farms or orchards can have even lower prices on summer fruits and veggies–plus you’ll have a fun outing for the family. Again, team up with friends to share your haul and make sure there’s room in the freezer. (Before you freeze those berries, make a pan of strawberry rhubarb crunch.)
4. Give farmers market ‘seconds’ a try.
Just because fruits and veggies aren’t perfect doesn’t mean they’re not perfectly good! Get to know the produce vendors at your farmers markets and find out when they have “seconds” to sell at a lower price. Then put together those beautiful-on-the-inside veggies in a vegetable strata.
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5. Break out your canning jars.
All that produce from #1-4 can be preserved as pickles, jams, chutneys, etc. to save money throughout the summer and the rest of the year. It’s also a great way to spend a rainy day with housebound kids. (Here’s a primer on Canning 101!)
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6. Serve hearty make-ahead breakfasts.
Keeping constantly hungry kids full–at least until lunch–with a hearty breakfast can save a ton on snacks. Make-ahead breakfasts like these also save you time on busy mornings. Plus, they’re a healthy option than sugary cereals.
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7. Grow your own vegetables.
Anything from a spacious backyard garden plot to a few big pots on your porch can yield a bounty of fresh veggies for snacks, salads and healthy grilling–like these simple vegetable skewers. (Starting early enough to plant your own seedlings can save even more!)
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8. Designate one night a week as meatless.
Be sure to keep it fun! These kid-friendly options are super-healthy and affordable. Put together a PB&J bar with a bunch of beyond-jelly options or–everybody’s favorite–breakfast for dinner with a show-stopping Dutch baby pancake.
Shutterstock / Joshua Resnick
9. Take it outside.
Keep the fun going by keeping the coals hot! Even inexpensive cuts of meat are a treat when cooked on the grill. Raise your burger game with some creative recipes–think corn and blue cheese or BBQ yumburgers–and pair them with grilled veggies from your garden.
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10. Cut back on the soda.
Trim the budget and the sugar consumption with a summer vacation water-drinking challenge. Keep the fridge stocked with pitchers of water infused with summery fruits. (Toss in some of the berries or cherries you froze to keep everything chilled!)