More Bang For Your Buck: Shopping for Food the Smart Way

Photo from @thesmilingut on Instagram

A lot of you have now happily returned to State College, after a six-month quarantine at home. School has started up again, and the majority of students are stuck inside all day with Zoom classes. Now that you’re back to being on your own away from home, you’re left on a budget and food can easily become very expensive. But, VALLEY has got you covered! We have all the tips for getting good food while saving money!

First up, we have your to-go food! We’ve all been in that position where we’ve slept in, been really busy, and had no time to make food. Or you’re just really in the mood to eat out. A tip is to download the UNiDAYS and Student Beans apps. These apps are designed for students in college as a way to save money on anything you can think of, including food! When you want to use Postmates or Grubhub, they’ve got your back! It’s an easy way to save money here and there and still get to eat out.

Photo from Unsplash

Next, we have the farmers market! Right in town, on Locust Lane off College Avenue, there is a farmers market that has fresh produce on Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., running all the way until the Friday before Thanksgiving. It is a great way to get out of the apartment and do something different! They have great food, baked goods, produce, flowers and even your fall pumpkins to start decorating, all for a great price! Definitely consider checking it out and supporting your local vendors!

Another amazing option available in town is the infamous Target! Target has a lot of food for low and affordable prices and it’s right in town. They even have their new food line called Good and Gather, which just came out last year, offering healthy, clean foods that taste great! And if you have a car or a means of public transportation, Aldi is another cost-efficient store that always has low prices and good food.

A smart way to shop if you aren’t comfortable with going out but would rather try to stay inside to stay healthy or prevent others from getting sick is to use Instacart! Once you download the app, you can shop anywhere in the area from your phone, and then either have members of their team load your cart with your groceries once you arrive at the store, or they will even deliver. It’s a great way to budget your money since you can see how much money you are spending as you add things to your cart!

A disclaimer is that they will charge a bit more than the store for services rendered, and additional due to price fluctuations in store, like meat for example, and how it changes per pound, but you will get refunded in a few days from the price fluctuations. So though a little pricier, it’s still a safe way to go about getting your groceries.

Photo from Unsplash

Some tips for saving money is to plan ahead. If you make a list of the meals and food you plan to have for the week, you can go into the store knowing exactly what you need so you won’t buy more than you need.

Another tip is to eat leftovers! Leftovers are a great way to save on meals. If you make a bigger batch of food, you can eat it the next day, or repurpose food for other meals. Lastly, shopping in bulk can be a great way to stock up on food and make your groceries last longer, so then you can have extra money. And of course, it’s ok to treat yourself and get that sweet treat or Starbucks coffee every once in a while! 

You deserve it!



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