Rising food prices can make it feel like your grocery bill is increasing at an exponential rate. One week an item will be $1.50 and the next it’s up to $1.75, but it’s unlikely your income is growing as quickly. While most of us expect to pay top dollar for organic produce or grass-fed steak, even bargain staples aren’t that much of a bargain anymore.
Just because these staples are costing you more doesn’t mean you can’t find other ways to save. Many of us turn to packaged foods to help speed through cooking, but we don’t usually realize just how much we’re paying for the added convenience. These 10 grocery store foods are some of the biggest offenders on your grocery bill. Cut out these eats, and you could start to see a lot more money in your bank account.
1. Croutons and breadcrumbs
Tossing some croutons into a salad is a great way to add flavor and crunch. It’s also a great way to blow your money. You’ll pay at least $2 for a pretty measly package that might only last a week. If you opt for something organic or high end, expect to see a much larger price tag. The same is true for breadcrumbs. While a few bucks here and there might not seem like a big deal, it’s kind of ridiculous to pay for something you’re throwing away at home. Stale bread might not make a very tasty sandwich, but it’s ideal for turning into both croutons and breadcrumbs
To make croutons, cube the bread, toss with some oil, and salt, then bake until the bread gets crispy. This method from A Sweet Pea Chef is a good guide. You can also add any number of seasonings to make your salad toppers just as fancy as anything you see at the supermarket. For breadcrumbs, just tear up hunks of stale bread, then blitz into a powder in the food processor. Keep the crumbs stored in the freezer, so they’ll be ready whenever you want to make meatballs or crab cakes.