You know the feeling. You go grocery shopping with the best of intentions, fill your cart with all the essentials for healthy and homemade meals for the week, head to the checkout, and boom - the total rings up way higher than you budgeted. No matter how much food you buy, food costs always seem to creep up and take a bigger bite out of your wallet.
Don't worry -- despite rising food prices, there are some simple ways you can keep your food bill in check without having to give up nutrition or flavor. In this blog post, we'll be giving you some EASY tips and tricks that could help reduce food costs over the long run so you have more cash to spend on the important things - like coffee, entertainment, breakfast, and occasionally splurging on a meal out. With some easy shopping strategies and food support programs, you'll be well on your way to lowering your grocery bill in no time.
Meal Plan and Create a Grocery List
Let's start with some basics: Meal planning is essential if you want to control food costs. For example: Sit down each week and figure out what meals you want to make for the next 7 days or so. Then make a grocery list based on your meal plan. Only buy what's on your list, no matter how good that sale on chips looks! Buying in bulk is a good idea, but only for non-perishables you actually need and will use before the expiration date.
Cook more food than you need and freeze portions for lunches or busy nights to reduce food waste. Leftovers are an easy, and budget-friendly meal. You can also repurpose leftovers into new dishes, like turning leftover rice into fried rice or chili into burritos. With just a simple technique, you're saving money, food, time, and reducing food waste.
Buying Store-Brand Items
Store-brand items have one of the lowest food cost percentages as far as how much of your money covers the actual food cost. Buying store-brand products is a great way to save money without giving up taste or nutrients. You don't necessarily need to calculate food cost percentage of every store's items, but keeping in mind what kind of mark-up is on your products is a good way to stop overpaying.
Only Buy in-Season Produce
Want to keep your grocery bill in check? Buy produce that's in season.
Fruits and vegetables that are in season in your area will be fresher and cheaper since they don’t have to be shipped from far away. A healthy food cost percentage means more nutritious food on your plate and more money in your wallet. Check what’s on sale and plan your meals around those ingredients. Stock up on sale items and preserve extras. Freeze greens, carrots, bananas, and berries.
Apply to WIC Program
If meal prep or seasonal shopping isn't your thing, another good choice if you want to reduce food cost each month is to apply for a food assistance program. For example, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.
To apply to WIC, contact your local WIC clinic. Bring documents like pay stubs, tax returns, or bank statements to show your household income and family size. WIC staff will review your eligibility, do screenings, and determine if you or your child are at nutritional risk. If eligible, you'll receive WIC food benefits on a WIC card to use at authorized stores.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
If your income is too high to qualify for WIC, you may still be eligible for SNAP food benefits. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, provides monthly benefits to help you save money on groceries.
You can use SNAP for staples like bread, milk, fruits and vegetables. Check with stores in your area to check if they accept SNAP EBT for these foods. Using SNAP is an easy way of reducing food costs each month. With some budget-friendly meal planning, you can make those benefits last much longer. Check for ways to save on groceries like using coupons, buying in-season produce, or store brand items. Small changes can help maximize your SNAP benefits and keep more money in your budget for other essentials.
To apply for SNAP:
- Contact your local SNAP office to apply. You can apply in person, online, by phone, or mail.
- Provide information about your income, expenses, and family or household size. SNAP uses this to determine your eligibility and benefit amount.
- Most households must meet income requirements, usually not exceeding 130% of the federal poverty level.
- Once approved, you'll receive an EBT card to use at grocery stores and farmers markets to purchase SNAP eligible food items.
- SNAP benefits can help supplement a tight food budget. Don't assume you won't qualify just because of your income alone. The program considers your full financial situation and aims to help many households afford nutritious meals.
If You're Applying For Food Benefits, You Could Qualify For a FREE PHONE!
Food insecurity is nothing short of a challenge. Having to plan meals carefully and count every penny when grocery shopping isn't much of a good time. Hopefully, upon qualifying for one of the government food support programs above -- you will find the assistance you need.
But that's not all: Did you know that if you qualify for a food program, not only do you likely also qualify for Lifeline or ACP, who offer low-cost phone benefits, but you also can leverage your participation to qualify for a FREE phone & FREE data. Here's exactly what you receive with EASY Wireless:
What Benefits Do You Get With EASY Wireless?
Upon qualifying for one of the programs above with EASY Wireless, you will receive the following benefits:
EASY Wireless Unlimited Plan
- FREE Unlimited Data
- FREE Unlimited Talk
- FREE Unlimited Text
- FREE SIM Car Kit and Activation
- Choose to Keep Your Number or Get a New One
How do I Apply For EASY Wireless Benefits?
To get started with EASY Wireless, apply online by clicking below:
Start Saving Today!
Or you can come down to one of the EASY Wireless's retail stores, where our customer service agent will help you apply for the benefits.
Either way, the first step is to provide proof of identity with a government-issued ID. This is so you can confirm your participation in one of the qualifying programs or that you meet the household income requirement.
We accept the following U.S. Government Issued ID:
- U.S. Driver License
- Certificate of U.S. Citizenship
- Certificate of Naturalization
- U.S. Passport
- U.S. Government, State or Tribal issued-ID
- U.S. Military ID cards
- Permanent Resident Cards
- Permanent Resident Alien Cards
You can show the following documents to prove that you are taking part in a government assistance program or use them as proof of active benefits:
- Statement of benefits from a qualifying Program.
- Notice letter of participation, such as an award letter
- Program participation documents, such as a screenshot from an online account.
- In order to show income, you can provide any of the following proofs:
- Unemployment Documentation
- Copy of your State or Federal income tax return.
- Three months' worth of current pay stubs.
- Veterans Administration or SSI benefits letter.
- A divorce decree or child support document that states income.
- Retirement or pension statement.
Need More Than Just One Line of Service or an Additional Phone?
EASY Wireless is a full-service cellular store that cares about all of your communication needs. We have a wide range of pre-paid plans for every budget and usage requirement. Also, we offer a selection of brand-name phones that combine quality, reliability, and the latest technology.
That's not all – we also provide an array of amazing accessories to enhance your mobile experience. At EASY Wireless, we're dedicated to providing exceptional service and ensuring you find the perfect plan, phone, and accessories to suit your lifestyle and preferences.
Visit us for all your cell phone and wireless service needs today!