Tip #1: Take a few minutes to think about the meals you would like to make during the week, and try to think of ways to use the ingredients you are going to purchase in different ways. For example, if you buy tomatoes for your salads during the week, you can also use them on sandwiches, simmered down with a little olive oil and spices to toss with your favorite pasta, or to top a quick and easy casserole.
Tip #2: Once a month, take a quick inventory of your pantry items and those stocked in your freezer (the first time you do this may take more time, but once you have a feel for the items you already have, you’ll be able to make quicker note of them each month). Think of some ways to utilize what you already have on hand and jot down what else you would need in order to use them in some recipes (and always keep tip #1 in mind while making your list). That can of white beans stuck at the back of the pantry? Use it to make a quick white bean hummus, as a protein topping for your salad, or tossed into some broth along with your favorite veggies for a hearty and delicious soup.
Tip #3: Be sure to check out the website for your local grocery store. Many of them offer printable coupons or ones that can be loaded directly to their savings cards. Some also provide helpful resources such as printable grocery lists and many will also offer special savings deals to their members. Also keep an eye out for bulk sales such as “10 for $10” sales. Many times these include shelf stable pantry staples, and as long as they are normally less than $1 each, you’re saving money.