Rising costs may be out of your control, but you can still control what you buy at the grocery store with a personal grocery budget list. Here are some alternative grocery list ideas you can try that will be more affordable (or less inflated) than some of the items above.
Margarine and butter are very similar, and you may not even notice a difference in the taste. The price of margarine only increased by 3.2% over a month. Depending on the recipe, you may even be able to use vegetable shortening, coconut oil, or vegan butter.
Seasoning blends are a popular and easy way to get more flavor without purchasing a ton of different seasonings. Seasoning salt can include everything from table salt to savory herbs and spices. Even a basic seasoning blend like garlic salt can help you combine two items on your grocery list.
Fresh Whole Chicken
Try giving ground beef a break and add a fresh whole chicken to your weekly meal plan. You’ll get a ton of meat for a lower cost, and you can roast the chicken or prepare it in the Crock Pot with your new seasoning blends.
Ground turkey is another smart substitute for high-priced meats. It’s versatile, lower in fat, and you can still get your burger fix whenever you decide to grill out. You can also use ground turkey to prepare turkey tacos, meatloaf, and other meals.
Frozen Fruits and Vegetables
The price of frozen fruits and vegetables is much lower than their canned counterparts right now. Frozen veggies can be steamed or prepared the same way you’d cook fresh or canned versions. You can make smoothies, cobblers, pies, or even homemade ice cream with frozen fruit.
Apples and Bananas
If you want fresh fruit but have a budget, choose apples and bananas over oranges and tangerines. These fruits tend to have a longer shelf life. You can store your apples in a bowl on the counter or even in the fridge and use them for snacks, salads, smoothies, or oatmeal.
Dried Beans, Peas, and Lentils
Dried beans, peas, and lentils may have gone up in price, but they’re still affordable if you try different brands. You can find a bag of dry beans or lentils for around $1 to $1.50 at some stores, which is still a steal. See if you can grab a few extra bags for your pantry and prep meals like stews and soups.
The price of lettuce has gone up 12% in stores over the past year. However, prepared salad prices have only gone up 8% and have held steady. Pre-packaged salads are convenient because they’re already mixed and ready to go.
Some salad kits even come with cheese, raw nuts, and dried fruit.
Olive Oil and Red Wine Vinegar
Yes, salad dressing prices have gone up with inflation. This price jump is an open invitation to start making your own salad dressing at home.
If you like Italian dressing, all you need is some olive oil and red wine vinegar for the base. Then, add some chopped garlic cloves and season to taste with salt, pepper, and oregano. You can also make homemade ranch dressing with buttermilk, sour cream, garlic, lemon juice, and fresh herbs.