The USDA says that grocery prices have risen about 10 percent since last year, though a lot of real-world stories tell an even more worrisome tale. Rapidly increasing grocery prices have certainly crimped the style of many foodies. Lucky for you, Frugal Pig editors have scoured available resources to craft this frugal foodies guide to shopping for bargain groceries!
Tips to Buy High-Quality Bargain Groceries
You’ve already cut back on dining out, added digital coupons to your grocery apps, and tried to trim your shopping lists back to the bone. You may find foodie-quality bargain groceries for less without sacrificing good taste or a diverse menu.
Buy Surplus Food With an App
The folks behind the TooGoodtoGo app have several missions. They want to stop food waste, give businesses a chance to recoup some losses, and save consumers money on quality food. The app allows people to find nearby sources of surplus food to buy. Participating businesses include restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, and bakeries.
After purchasing this food at a discount, customers simply pick the groceries up and enjoy them. Today, an alarming third of food goes to waste, generating excess greenhouse gasses, land-use issues, and most of all, potential shortages. Save some money and help save the planet with this app.
Get Healthy, Organic Food in Bulk From a Truck at a Drop Point
Azure Standard distributes orders of healthy, natural food to customers from one of their numerous drop-off locations spread through the lower 48 states. The company also has some drop points in Alaska and Canada. Besides food, Azure Standard sells other groceries, like supplements and personal care products.
Begin by visiting the drop point page to see if you can find a nearby location. If you can’t find a nearby drop point, Azure Standard invites you to gather a small group and start your own. If none of these solutions work, Azure Standard also ships via UPS and USPS, but you’ll need to pay for shipping.
Join a Buying Club
Many wholesale suppliers require minimum orders, but just a few families can band together and easily meet this requirement. As an example, Frontier Buying Club offers free shipping for minimum orders of $250 through the Continental US and $450 to Alaska and Hawaii.
According to this company’s instructions for starting a wholesale grocery buying club, they require five people to form a group, which could include family, friends, coworkers, etc. Larger families report joining a wholesale buying club saved their families as much as $500 a month on groceries. Search on the internet for local buying clubs or look for food retailers that will allow you to start your own.
Take Advantage of Grocery Apps and Loyalty Memberships
These days, almost all grocery store brands have apps or email subscription memberships. These all come with the chance to take advantage of special “membership” prices, discount coupons, and other deals. Some will offer rewards of grocery store credit after spending a certain amount of money.
It generally only takes a minute or two to enroll in these programs, costs nothing, and can pay you back for the time spent with one or two deals.
Find a Local Food Coop or Farm
Transporting food generates waste and increases prices. Since local food coops and farmers strive to keep prices low, they don’t advertise widely like regular grocery stores. Local Harvest as a local food coop and producer finder online. The availability of nearby food coops and even farmers that sell to the public might surprise you!
Compare Prices for Nonperishable Groceries Online
It might make sense to choose convenience over price for perishable food. However, you can certainly wait a day or two for canned and packaged food. The internet makes it easy to compare prices, and most large retailers offer free shipping with memberships or minimum purchases.
These big retail food shops, like Amazon or Walmart, also may offer a broader selection than even the biggest superstore in town, so they’re handy when supplies like sushi rice are hard to find. Of course, you’re free to search for smaller, specialized online grocery sites too.
Try Shopping at Ethnic Grocery Stores
Shopping at Asian, Latin, Middle Eastern, and African grocery stores can offer a fun and educational experience. Very often, customers express surprise at the low price and high quality of many of the same kinds of food they could purchase in a general grocery store, plus, they can also find food that the corner market doesn’t offer.
Most of the larger ethnic grocery stores also carry typical pantry stables, like toilet paper, peanut butter, and rice. After all, their targeted clientele also wants to purchase these things and doesn’t want to plan trips to multiple markets. However, many marked-up, “gourmet” items from regular grocery stores might simply be considered typical, regular-priced food at an ethic market.
Check Out Grocery Salvage Markets
Americans waste billions of dollars worth of food every year, and a lot of this food squandering begins in the food chain. Grocery salvage outlets buy imperfect or slightly out-of-date food from distributors and chains to sell at reduced prices. Check out our guide to finding grocery salvage markets online and offline.
How Are You Buying Foodie Food Frugally?
Not everybody wants to only buy vegan food at a dollar store. Do you have any tips for buying foodie food in the most frugal way possible? Be sure to sign up to comment and let us know.