One thing I have really enjoyed about being in the southern part of the state is my availability to a wide range of products. Products that are free of the top ten allergens are generally expensive to being with, but I have found that things are much more affordable in southern Maine.
In 2019, Maine was ranked the 6th most expensive state for grocery prices according to Lovemoney. Mainers pay nearly a third more on groceries than the average American. Residents in the northern part of the state pay even higher prices. I assume much of this has to do with our location and limited access to resources, but I just wish groceries were cheaper!
A good friend of mine and I were talking not too long ago about our grocery shopping experiences. She mentioned that she only goes to the store once every two weeks and sometimes once every three weeks to save money. As a college student with loans, bills, and many other expenses I too try to limit how much I spend on food. The cost of quality food is so expensive that many people often opt-out on the weekly grocery store trips, which is a conversation for another time.
Now, let’s add my food allergies into the equation, for those of you who are just joining me I have celiac disease and I am lactose intolerant. These are fairly new allergies. I have had my dairy allergy for about 5 years now and although I knew that I carried the celiac gene, the disease was dormant until 2 years ago when I came back home from Morocco. I have my suspicions about the gluten allergy, specifically, because while I was in Morocco I ate enough gluten to last me many years!
Finding products in my hometown that accommodate both of my allergies is a challenge within itself, let alone finding products that are affordable. I thought I would share some tips with you to get the most for your dollar while ballin’ on a budget:
- use coupons for foods that you regularly buy (one of my lifetime goals has always been to become an extreme couponer)
- don’t shop when you are hungry – I try to avoid this at all costs
- stock up – buy extra canned good, frozen foods, meats, and cereals when they are on sale (your freezer is your best friend)
- buy generic – the quality of store brands foods are often as good or even better than pricier name brand products
- check unit prices or cost per serving – the least expensive items are typically found on the high/low shelves so scan it all
Do you have any tips for grocery shopping while on a tight budget? What are your secrets? Comment them below!