Have you decided you are ready to start with a healthy diet and your grocery purchases are killing you lately? I feel you. With inflation all over and rising food prices, you are probably wondering how to cut your grocery bill and still eat healthy.
Whatever your financial goals are, I think we are all in agreement that we would like to save a little where we can.
Thinking about the cost of food is stressful. Food costs are definitely hitting families hard.
The average household in the United States with a family of 4 spends about $800-$1300.00 per month on groceries. I would like to share tips that I have used personally back when I was a single mom (and also still today as my family has grown) that help make the food stretch a little longer and makes your pocket book a little fuller.
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Here are some different ways to still have healthy food in your fridge for you and your family:
- Lets start with setting a food budget. Setting a budget will help immensely with impulse buys and is a great way to stick to your shopping list.
- Keep meal planning simple. Think fresh food like protein, carbs and vegetables. What are some items you can use for multiple meals? An example of a healthy yet simple meal is pan-seared chicken, roasted carrots and brown rice.
- Focus on whole foods. The key to staying full is to choose foods that are high in nutrients rather than foods that are high in calories with no nutrients.
- Utilize the frozen section (though stay away from the processed stuff). Frozen meats, fish, vegetables and fruits are still packed with nutrition even though they are frozen. While fresh produce and seafood tastes the best, you can make a delicious and quick stir fry using frozen shrimp and frozen broccoli. I love using frozen veggies as that helps reduce food waste in my home.
More ideas on How to Cut Your Grocery Bill and Still Eat Healthy
Bulk Buy- sometimes. Here is my 2 cents on bulk buying- only do it if truly fits your family’s needs. Sometimes if you’re getting too much food in at once, you may waste something. Or you get tired of it.
A great way to bulk buy and have it work for you is to make a weekly menu. When you have an idea of what your family wants to eat, you can write your grocery list for the entire week and buy accordingly.
Some ideal things to buy in larger quantities are the most expensive items such as red meat and ground beef. These can be broken down and stored into freezer safe bags. Always be sure to label and date them.
For seafood, Costco has a wonderful selection of frozen Mahi Mahi that is pre portioned and vacuum sealed. I pull out what I need and let it defrost overnight in the fridge. It cooks up great the next day!
Bulk buying also is ideal if you have older children who live near you or other family members or friends who want to save extra money as well. If there are multiple items that everyone uses such as toilet paper, you can buy it large quantities and split the grocery bill.
Other ways to find a great deal and save
Purchase generic brands versus big name items. Often times this a great alternative because many major grocery store brands carry organic and natural food products but cheaper prices.
Cut Your Grocery Bill and Still Eat Healthy by Trying out Meatless Meals
This is a great opportunity to discover vegetarian eating. You will want to get in-season produce and staple items like brown rice, quinoa, tofu and garbanzo beans. (or whichever beans you like)
Another option is to make a regular recipe and simply use less meat. If a recipe calls for a pound of ground beef, you can use a 1/2 pound instead and add in more vegetables.
Utilize online grocery shopping
I have had some people ask me, how does this save money when you have to pay a delivery fee? Great question! Now if I’m being honest, Costco delivery seems to be the most expensive. They charge higher on the food itself plus the delivery fee is calculated on your total, plus I add in a tip.
But my local grocery store Kroger, charges a flat fee of 9.99 and I can do my online shopping, pick only healthy options and not be tempted to get unnecessary items or get things I shouldn’t be eating anyways. The cost of groceries are the same and yes, while you are spending money on the delivery and tip, that is a pretty fair exchange with saving you time (a grocery store run can take 60-90 minutes) and stress (because who love long lines and Costco parking lots) and potentially saving you money in the long run (well we all have that toddler who insists putting at least 5 things in the basket that wasn’t on our list to begin with but they insist they need it!)
Grocery stores also have pick up option as well that has no charge.
Cut Your Grocery Bill and Still Eat Healthy by ditching the sodas & liquor
Here in Washington State, we have a liquor tax AND a soda tax. Unfortunately there is no discount given when purchased together.
Even healthier drinks like green juices and smoothies can add up.
One of the best ways to save on this is to learn to make your own green drinks or smoothies at home. You don’t need fresh fruits for this, frozen is perfectly fine to use. All you need is a Nutri Bullet or any kind of high powered blender.
Plus, making your own healthy drinks will eliminate some of the unnecessary sugars they put into store bought stuff.
Dining out and saving money
This is a tough one. We all want to save on our grocery bill and cook our own food but at some point we want to enjoy a nice meal out.
When you make the decision to eat healthy, sometimes eating out can become a little painful in the wallet. The restaurants are paying higher prices for inventory as well.
$3.00 for that sub gluten free bun
$2.00 for an avocado slice
$8.00 to add grilled chicken to your salad.
$15.00 for a salad but you discover its all iceberg lettuce and about 1 ounce of protein so you’re still starving.
I’ve been there, trust me! Here is my advice. Order from the appetizer menu (nothing fried). Skip the gluten free bun and get it lettuce wrapped. Avoid the over priced iceberg salad and order a healthy entree instead. Try a plant-based protein on the menu. Do your research on the restaurant and if they have healthy foods that fit your needs and your budget.
One of the easiest ways to save and still have healthy meals is to think about what is important to you and your family. If organic items is what you love, consider only purchasing organic vegetables and meats and get the regular dairy products instead. Or switch off buying organic products every other week.
Farmer’s Markets are a great option as well.
In the end a cup of regular broccoli versus organic broccoli still gives you the same nutritional value.