This is the place where I feel like I struggle the most to save money. I’m picky about what we eat – organic produce & sprouted grains, grass fed meat and dairy. So it’s an ongoing battle of how to save money without compromising on quality.
The Success this month has been avoiding lunches and coffee out. I’ve had 1 take out coffee which is nothing short of a miracle when you factor in my previous habit and we’ve ordered dinner in once this month. My goal is to make some kind of freezer meal to have ready to pull out when it just feels like I can’t possibly cook tonight. We both know it’s going to happen so if you plan for it you’ll end up saving the money you would have spent on take out and also have a healthier meal.
The fails this month are mostly cheese related- I have a bit of a Brie habit – expensive but so delicious. Also, organic raw nuts are definitely a pricey option we consume.
Money Saving Tips:
Bananas — recently these were on sale at our local grocery store and I bought 3 bunches because they’re just such an easy snack. If you’re having trouble getting into the habit of bringing lunch or you feel rushed (don’t we all)- just grab a banana and it will save you money on convenience foods later in the day. Also, if you have some go brown before you get them eaten up it’s the perfect excuse to make banana bread or muffins (which also make great snacks!)
Buy in bulk and on sale — but only when it’s something you actually use — if you wouldn’t have bought it at regular price you should think about whether it’s something you will use and like to eat before making the purchase. Recently our cheese ( yes I do have a cheese problem and this wasn’t even brie!) went on sale 30% off at our local grocery store so we purchased no less than 5 cheddar, 3 mozzarella, 1 swiss and 1 old cheddar for good measure which should in theory last us until the next sale even if it’s only 15% off next time etc.
An example of where I purchased something that may not have been as great of deal – we usually eat ambrosia, gala or pink lady apples just depending on what variety is the best price when we go shopping. I noticed the spartan are2 3lb bags for $6 so I picked up 2 bags but I’ve ended up tossing a few because they rotted right through and none of us really love this variety so it’s taken longer to use them up resulting in more wastage and a bit more work (for the kiddo we have to slice and sprinkle with cinnamon whereas the preferred varieties just get eaten whole).
Cook at home– this seems like simple advice but if you’re in the habit of eating out more than once a month or take out coffee more than once a week I’d suggest you go cold turkey to reset your habits by cooking everything at home for one whole month.
This has been said many time before but for good reason so I will repeat.
Do not go grocery shopping hungry ever. Never. Ever.
Buy produce in the amount you will actually eat. Don’t buy 2 heads of lettuce if one is big enough to make the 2 salads you’re planning.
Try to grocery shop once or twice a week- every time you end up in the grocery store you’re likely to buy something else you weren’t coming for unless you have some extreme discipline (that I clearly lack).
Keep track of what you’re spending on groceries so you can decide if it’s too high or too low based on your values and budget. I use track my spend app on my phone but there is many ways to keep track.
Finding your wasting produce even after you’ve tried to buy the perfect amount? Get into the habit of making a frittata or homemade soup once a week to use up any lingering veggies. Leftover fruit? Most of it can be added into a basic muffin recipe to give it a second life and everyone loves muffins.