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10 Tips for Grocery Shopping on a Budget


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Don't Buy Pre-prepped Foods
Stay away from pre-prepped foods and opt to do it yourself. Cutting up a meats and marinating them yourself, for instance, may take a bit longer, but it costs a lot less in the long run.
Stay away from pre-prepped foods and opt to do it yourself. Cutting up a meats and marinating them yourself, for instance, may take a bit longer, but it costs a lot less in the long run.
Fuse/Thinkstock

Time is something we all wish we had more of, and brands are taking advantage of that by producing pre-seasoned and pre-packaged foods. While these items might save you time, they're certainly not saving you any money. Pre-prepped products come with the added cost of providing you that convenience. And the time they save is usually not worth the extra cost.

If you want pretzels for your kids' lunches, don't buy the fun size bags; buy the family size bag and make your own snack packs. The same goes for pre-seasoned meats. The time it saves you to buy pre-seasoned and even pre-cooked meats is not worth the added cost. Use your coupons, pay attention to sales and buy the ingredients to do it yourself.

A good tip for saving time when meats are on sale is to freeze the meats in a marinade. As they thaw in the fridge, they'll be perfectly prepped for cooking. Finally, even pre-cut meats come at an added cost. Pound per pound, a whole chicken is significantly cheaper than buying pre-cut and pre-trimmed chicken breasts, legs and thighs (and you can freeze the carcass to make chicken soup later).