Grocery shopping can become expensive when you are starting to eat healthier. I wrote an article before about the cost of healthy living. It’s all a matter of balance and learning how to save money on your favorite products. Can you guess how much I spend on groceries a month?
I only spend about $60.00! Now you may ask what’s included in those $60.00. For the most part its fruits and veggies, soy, almond and/or coconut milk, whole grain breads, pastas, and cereals, beans, eggs, cheese, quinoa, brown rice, natural peanut butter, granola bars and other miscellaneous food items.
Many of the food items that I purchase last more than a month such as quinoa, olive oil and peanut butter, so I might not have to buy them one month. Here are eight of my money saving tips that you can use to help you keep healthy on a budget.
1. Browse different supermarket flyers: Each supermarket is going to have their own specials week to week. Fruits and veggies specials vary all the time, so you can always count on variety in your diet. In terms of pantry items, look for the supermarket that has the majority of things you need on sale and shop there. You can always stop at another supermarket for something you need if it’s convenient for you. Otherwise, wait and see if it’s on sale next week.
2. Stock up! If a product you use all the time is on sale, stock up if possible. For myself, if various Kashi products are on sale, I usually stock up on a couple of cereals and granola bars. I also like to stock up on non-refrigerated soy, coconut, and/ or almond milk, since those items can get pricey if you aren’t buying them on sale.
3. Shop the frozen section for fruits and veggies: I’ve converted to buying frozen veggies and getting fresh whenever I can. Many of the frozen veggies I find are under $2.00 and last a while. It’s also good for people who like variety. If you want to have, say fresh zucchini, you can buy one and eat it and not have to worry that your veggies are getting bad since they are frozen. It’s a good way to avoid wasting money on unused produce too. Frozen fruit makes for a great smoothie too. Just be sure that the fruits and veggies are not loaded with sauces or syrups to avoid unnecessary sodium or sugar.
4. Shop canned fruits and veggies too! For veggies, make sure they are low in sodium, which means 140mg or less. I like to get potatoes, sweet peas, tomatoes, and so forth. If you want to get canned fruit, check the label to see if it’s in natural juices or low to no added sugar. In case you didn’t know, unsweetened applesauce counts as a serving of fruit too! Of course, whole fruit is a better choice. However, when money is tight, you need options right?
5. Find protein alternative other than meat: I have incorporated other protein sources such as black beans, natural peanut butter, quinoa, egg whites and cheese into my diet. This has definitely decreased my grocery bill. When I was eating more meat, my grocery bill was usually $80.00 a month, which isn’t terrible, but that’s a $20.00 difference and more money in my pocket. At times if not on sale, meat can get pricey. I do still buy meat but just not as much. This is a good time to experiment with new foods or you can always stock up when your favorite meat is on sale.
6. Buy pantry staples in bulk! If you enjoy an item that can get pretty pricey, buy it in bulk. For example, I like to buy a big bag of almonds for around $3.00 and pre-portion them in small containers for snacks. You can get about 12-100 calorie servings for less from an 8oz bag versus 7 servings from a $4.00 already 100 calorie portioned package. For some people, pre-portioned products work to help them eat healthy and that’s okay. But doing it this way helps you save money.
7. Sign up for coupons from your favorite brands: Coupons and other promotions are always available online from many of your favorite brands. I just signed up for a free Yoplait yogurt. Luna bar also had a deal too; I got a free bar by signing up for their newsletter and it also came with a $0.55 off coupon. You just have to do a little bit research and you’ll find money savers.
8. Hold on to that coupon! Why? Well, simple save your coupon for when your products is on sale and you’ll get an even bigger discount. Sometimes you just need the product right away but if you can wait it out, it’s worth it. One example is Whole Foods had the So Delicious coconut milk on sale for $2.00 from $2.79. In my little coupon envelope I had a $1.00 off coupon for the So Delicious coconut milk. Final cost? $1.00 all the way from $2.79.
I hope this helps in learning about how I same money on my grocery bill. It’s not too difficult and once you have done a bit of research, you can find the best money savers. A good friend of mine has a website dedicated to finding the best deals on various products, not just food. It’s called Deal Finding Chik…you should really check it out!