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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.

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Different brands and flavors of ice cream on fridge shelves in a supermarket. Based on studies, half of the population in North America eat ice cream regularlyTORONTO, 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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Young woman shopping in the fresh produce section at the grocery store.Shutterstock / Arina P Habich

 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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girl picking fruitShutterstock / Elena Yakusheva

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.)

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green and purple cabbage, leek on market for saleM DOGAN/Shutterstock

 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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Display of fresh homemade vegetables and fruitsShutterstock / Zigzag Mountain Art

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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Taste of Home

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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Lovely small cherry tomato plant with ripe and tasty tomatoes on it. White empty marker in potShutterstock / Imfoto

 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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Taste of Home

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.

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cooking burgers on hot grill with flamesShutterstock / 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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Infused water with kiwi and orange in jars, partly isolatedShutterstock/ Ievgeniia Maslovska

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!)

Cathryn Jakicic
Cathy Jakicic has written about everything from business and bacteria to beads and baking in her career —but she greatly prefers the last two. She is a baker and a crafter and loves to try new recipes for both.

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