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After a few pricey grocery shopping experiences, I knew I had to change my food buying ways.

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It wasn’t until I moved out of my parents’ house that I truly became aware of the cost of groceries. After a few pricey grocery shopping experiences, I knew I had to change my food buying ways. After all, I now had my own rent to pay.
Stock Up on Staples
Staple foods like rice and pasta can go a long way. Even at $15 to $25 for a huge fourteen-pound bag, rice is a substantially cheap way to feed yourself. Through cooking research and by diving into various cuisines, egg fried rice, meats and veggies over rice and Mexican burritos are now a big component of my weekly meals. When I’m on the go, hot sauce and rice makes a fine snack to hold me over. Try brown rice, rice pilaf or even quinoa to mix things up a bit. What I used to think was a boring, easy meal, I now see as an economical option that is both healthy and tasty.
Stay Away from Convenience Stores
And that’s for one reason: they aren’t convenient on your finances. After moving out of my parents’ home, I was hungry for cereal my second night in my new apartment, so I drove to a local convenience store to pick up milk and some kind of cereal. “That will be $9.19,” the cashier told me. Those words hit me like a ton of bricks. At the time, that was more than I made in an hour.
Keep It Fresh and Do the Cooking Yourself
I used to make the mistake of using coupons to purchase things like pre-packaged green beans. Don’t do this. I later found that loose and fresh green beans are cheaper by well over one dollar a pound. Coupons don’t always mean you’re getting the best deal available. Fresh fruits and vegetables are typically less money than frozen, packaged items.
Even those quick microwavable meals are not as cheap as making something similar yourself. Cut up your own veggies and cook your meals rather than purchasing premade stuff or heading out to a restaurant. It will benefit your overall health and your wallet.
Only Buy What You Need
I remember buying about six loaves of bread at the great price of 88 cents a loaf. Never will I do that again. I simply let the façade of big savings get in the way of my actual bread eating capabilities. By the time I ate halfway through that batch, which took about two weeks, the bread had developed a mold and stench bad enough to drive the mice out of my house.
I ended up wasting three of the loaves (I know, now, that I could have frozen them). While the benefit of driving mice away with moldy bread may be tempting, it’s probably best to only get items you absolutely need in bulk. I tend to keep it to staples like rice, meats and vegetable oil.
Mission Shop
Your shopping mentality can save you money, and there are a few solid rules you can try to abide by: Don’t shop when you’re hungry, don’t browse through every aisle and don’t get sidetracked by snacks you didn’t even come to the store to get. Create a list. Get in. Get what you came for. And get out.

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