10 tips to save on groceries
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 7.75% from October 2021 to October 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Prices remain near 40-year highs as the cost of groceries and rent weigh heavily on the minds of consumers.
While people can’t control food prices, they can decrease food waste. Consider that Oregon households throw away an average of 6.3 pounds of food per week, according to a 2019 report by Community Environmental Services. Of that waste, 71% was once edible.
As food and energy prices continue to impact family budgets, OnPoint and Fred Meyer are sharing 10 tips to save money at checkout and reduce food waste.
Inventory your pantry, refrigerator and freezer.
Create an inventory list that includes quantities of and expiration dates for all food and household items you have on hand. As you run out of items, cross them off the inventory and add them to your grocery list. This will help you avoid buying too much or not enough of each item.
Shop strategically when buying in bulk.
Bulk items can save you time, money and gas. Nonperishable bulk items like pasta and spices are generally cheaper per unit than nonperishables like produce, dairy and meat because they have a longer shelf life. When buying perishables in bulk, check the expiration date and be realistic about whether you can consume the product before it expires.
Create a sustainable meal prep routine.
Spending time every week planning your meals is good for your physical and financial health—a true win-win. Create a sustainable meal plan by starting small. If you are new to meal prepping, begin by planning a few meals or snacks and build momentum from there. Try maximizing your ingredients by choosing things that can be used to make different meals.
Being a good steward of food saves you money.
Keep your fridge at 40°F and store vegetables, fruit, meat and butter in their specific compartments. Store items like pasta, coffee and grains in a dark, cool, dry place. Keep things like bananas and tomatoes on the counter. If a food item doesn’t have a long shelf life, wait to buy it when you need it.
Pre-portion snacks for kids.
Growing children can eat a lot. Prepare your fridge and your budget by cutting up fruits and veggies as an alternative to packaged snacks. Purchase value packs of cured meats, cheeses and crackers to make portioned baggies.
Check the unit price of your item.
Check the unit price for the item you’re about to purchase (it’s always on the shelf tag or listed on the product page online). A larger package size could have a smaller per-unit item price.
Watch for sales and opt-in to digital services.
Weekly deals, savings events and “Must Buy” deals are each a little different, so double-check coupons to ensure you get the maximum savings. Explore Fred Meyer’s mobile app to uncover additional savings and clip coupons directly to your loyalty card. Be sure to set your account preferences to receive every email to stay on top of savings and special sale events.
Don’t let those fuel points expire!
Using your Fuel Points at a local Fred Meyer can save you up to $1.25 per gallon. Discover more ways to save, such as filling prescriptions at Fred Meyer pharmacies, using Kroger Ship, joining the Fred Meyer Boost membership program, and taking advantage of extra-earning events.
Create a mindful budget with help from the pros.
With costs going up, it’s crucial to be mindful of where your money is going. For help creating a sustainable grocery budget, visit one of OnPoint’s 55 locations (including 20 locations inside Fred Meyer stores) where branch teams can provide helpful resources for learning how to manage monthly grocery expenditures.
Use your freezer.
Freeze everything from cheese and lunch meat to nuts and perishable items to extend their shelf life. If you are making a casserole, soup or other freezable meals, double or triple your recipe to freeze additional meals for another time.
OnPoint and Fred Meyer’s partnership began when the credit union announced its 20 branches within the grocer’s stores, which was the largest branch expansion of any credit union in the country in 2021. Since then, OnPoint has helped members, Fred Meyer shoppers and employees build financial wellness on their schedule.
Visit onpointcu.com/locations-atms for a full list of OnPoint’s 55 branch locations.