After spending a little too much money on groceries for the past few weeks, it’s time to get my budget in order.
What happened last weekend was not a normal occurrence for me. I know I spend a lot of money on stupid things that I don’t “need” (like nut butter), but I’m actually a pretty frugal person.
When I go to the grocery store, I always get the essentials first. If there is money leftover for a specialty nut butter or gourmet cheese, I pick it up.
Life is too short not to enjoy the foods you love.
With that being said, here are ten tips that will keep your wallet (and your mouth) happy:
1. Create a Grocery Shopping Budget
When you have a set amount designated for groceries, it really helps keep you on track. For me, I set aside a certain amount each week that is just for groceries, but if I go under or over, the balance rolls over to the next week. I normally have some extra money left at the end of the month for some gourmet items
2. Create a List and/or Meal Plan
Personally, I don’t create a set meal plan for each week, but I know a few other bloggers who do and it works well for them.
If you are a blogger and want to do a post for me about creating a meal plan, please email me.
However, I do have a list with me every time that I do a major trip to the grocery store. My memory is terrible, so if I don’t have a list, I normally end up buying something that I don’t need or forgetting something.
3. Online Coupons
4. Buy Local, Seasonal Produce
You can save a lot of money by buying organic fruits and vegetables that are in season. In season produce is not only less expensive because of the availability, but it usually tastes the best.
Also, you’re doing the local economy a favor by buying local. Supporting local farmers is very important to me, so I always buy local (preferably organic) produce when I can.
5. Buy In Bulk
Buying in bulk is much more friendly on your wallet because bulk items require less packaging and shipping (which is also better on the environment).
99% of the time, I buy my grains (like oatmeal), dried fruit, granola, flax seeds, flour, sugar, maple syrup, and so much more in bulk. It saves me a lot of money, but it’s also saving the Earth buy reducing the amount of packaging that I use.
6. Eat Less Meat
Let’s face it, organic meat and grass fed meat is expensive. A plant based diet is definitely better on the environment and for your wallet, but I’m not telling you to go vegetarian. I do eat meat several (3-4) times a week, but I’m very strict on where my meat is coming from, which makes it more expensive. Once you think about it, 3-4 meals out of 21 (not including snacks) really isn’t that many, but it allows me to satisfy my burger craving.
You can find protein in many foods such as beans, eggs, tofu, nuts/seeds, and grains. When I create a vegetarian meal, I like to pick a vegetable or grain to be the centerpiece, then I create the meal around it. Stir fries are wicked awesome.
7. Make Your Own Dressings, Sauces, and Spreads
By making my own dressings, dips, spreads, and the like, you’ll save a lot of money. The ingredients may be costly upfront, but they will last much longer.
Plus, you control the ingredients!
8. Cook from Scratch
I can’t preach how important this is.
Instead of purchasing meals that come from a box, make your own with fresh, local, organic ingredients. It is so much better for your health and the health of the environment!
You’re going to eat food without processed junk, it’s also going to taste a hell of a lot better. Trust me, cook your own food.
9. Shop Around
My grocery days typically involve trips to 2-3 stores. Some products are cheaper certain stores, so taking an extra 30 minutes to an hour can actually save me quite a bit of money. It’s a pain, but totally worth it.
10. Bring Your Reusable Bags
Many grocery stores offer a reusable bag program. When you use your own bags, a certain amount of money is deducted from your total bill. At Whole Foods, I think it’s around $.10. This may not sound like much, but think of how many bags you are actually saving per year. Trust me, it adds up.
Let’s hear your money saving tips!