People tell me everyday how expensive it is to eat healthier food. I remember very vividly when I felt the same way. And while I do believe that the cost of some things tends to be a little outrageous, for the most part, changing to a healthier way of eating has saved my family money. See, before we started our journey to a healthier lifestyle, we were eating out probably 3 – 4 times per week. Running through the drive thru at the local coffee shop (to buy fancy coffee drinks for ALL five of us) several times per week didn’t phase me. I would impulse buy things at the grocery store that looked good at the time and as embarrassed as I am to say this, much of it ended up expired and going in the trash later.
As I began to change what and how we were eating, the money we were spending on food decreased by more than half! We feed our family healthy, organic foods on a budget that is relatively small – about $30 / person / week. Sometimes a little less, sometimes a little more depending on what’s on the menu. But I NEVER spend more than $35 / person / week. That includes 3 meals plus snacks everyday (for 3 adults and 2 teens!), toiletries, hygiene and cleaning items. Today, I want to share with you 5 of my biggest tips for saving money on healthy food:
- ALWAYS have a plan. Preparing a meal plan in advance makes a big difference in your spending. Take a look at what you already have in your pantry, fridge and freezer. Use those items to create your meal plan. Look at your calendar, too! Don’t plan elaborate dishes or decide you’re going to attempt a bunch of new recipes on a week you’ll be getting home late 4 out of 7 nights! Set yourself up for success and plan your meals around your life. It will save you time, money (skip the drive thru because the crockpot is doing the cooking!) and frustration.
- Create a shopping list and when it comes to produce – stick to what’s in season. Use your store’s ad plus the notes about what you already have on hand when developing your meal plan. This will help you create a shopping list that will keep you spending less. Sticking to in-season produce is easy even if you know nothing about farming or what grows where during which time of year, you’ll know when you get to the store. For example – grapes, berries, melons and many other fruits are “in season” where I live during the summer. That means the prices for those things are lower in summer and higher in winter. If you’re noticing the price of something you love going up, it’s probably because it’s not in season in your area anymore. Looking for those items in the freezer section will save you money.
- Stick to the outer aisles of the store. Focusing on meat, fruit, veggies, nuts and seeds will make cooking and shopping easier and more affordable. I venture into the inner aisles for things like dried beans, whole grains, and seasonings.
- Know where to find the best deals in your area. Locally, my favorite spots to shop for quality meats and produce at really great prices are H-E-B, Costco, Trader Joes and Sprouts.
- Order healthy ingredients at lower prices online! My favorite source – Thrive Market! They offer thousands of non-gmo and organic products at prices much lower than you’ll see in most traditional stores. What I love about them is you can find items that you might need to fit a special type of diet – gluten free, dairy free, paleo, etc. and everything gets delivered right to your door! So you save time and money! #winning They also carry makeup, hygiene products, household cleaners and other things you need to eliminate toxins not just from your food, but your home as well. That all adds up to better health.
Right now Thrive Market is offering new members 20% off your first three orders, plus free shipping when you spend $49 or more. It’s a great time to sign up for FREE and see how much you could save.
Feeding your family healthy food on a budget doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. It does take a little practice but if this girl who was raised on corn and mashed potatoes can do it, so can you! I love to answer questions, so if you have any, leave them in the comments!
Do you have any tips for busy moms trying to scale down their grocery budget? I’d love to hear them! Share them with us in the comments. 🙂
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