Ola! Hope everyone is having a spectacular Thursday. This week feels all over the place to me, I’m not sure why. New clients, admin work to be done, new programs, trying to make time to clean the house (I seriously need a cleaning person) and just life in general. Those of you following my training and food log (I’ve been updating it multiple times a day) will already know that my tummy has been a bit off for a couple days now so that’s just adding to the fun. Ah well, I’m still a very lucky girl and my tummy seems to be doing much better now.
So today I thought I’d share some tips on keeping that grocery bill at a reasonable amount. The timing is perfect as Steve and I just discussed that we need to keep ours a little lower – it’s been getting a tad out of hand. We love fresh, real food and sometimes I tend to get more than we need, it is just the two of us after all. So here are some ways that I’m using to help keep that grocery bill down.
1. Make a List
If you have a list of items you need you’ll be less likely to stray and buy things you don’t really need. There are some really good apps out there so you’ll never forget your list at home again.
I like the myShopi app
2. Take note of what you already have
How many times have you gone to the grocery store and picked up a bag of something only to realize you already have 3 others just waiting to be used? Take time to go through your pantry and freezer to see what you’ve got there. Chances are you have more food than you think.
3. Meal Plan
I love meal planning, it makes getting dinner together so much easier. However, I’ve learned to do some planning before I get groceries, and then finalize everything once I actually pick everything up. The reason being is that sometimes you get to the store and find great deals on things that you weren’t originally going to buy. Last week I bought a massive pork tenderloin from Costco for $9! I wasn’t planning on making pulled pork but I wasn’t going to pass up that deal.
I have these laminated on my fridge so I can write down what we’re going to eat during the week (I don’t usually plan out Saturday and Sunday) and also make note of what leftovers are in the fridge ready to be eaten. Have you ever noticed how horrible boys are at actually looking in the fridge? Steve will sometimes say he’s hungry and I ask him if he looked in the fridge and he say’s he couldn’t find anything – meanwhile there is leftover pork, roasted veggies, and a bunch of other easy things he could throw together. Moving on……
4. Buy in Bulk
I absolutely LOVE my Costco membership, I don’t know what we’d do without it for certain things. We buy eggs, egg whites, lettuce, peppers, frozen veggies, meat, nuts, almond milk, and other random things there usually twice a month.
I try not to buy things in bulk that I know we won’t finish in time – that’s just a waste of money – but all of the above items we’ll have no problem going through.
5. Shop the sales…but with caution
Like I mentioned above if something is on for a good price, I’ll usually stock up on it. Especially if it’s something we’ll definitely need in the near future. If meat is on for a good deal I’ll load up and then just portion it out and freeze (that’s what I did in my last grocery haul post).
However do not buy things on sale just because they’re on sale. Say something is on 4 for $5 but you know you won’t be able to go through it all….don’t buy 4! Sometimes those deals seem so appealing but if you don’t really need it, just skip it.
6. Check the price per unit
Don’t just look at the price of something, look at the price per unit. For instance at Costco when you’re buying eggs, there are like 3 or 4 different options all with different prices. To decide on which ones to buy I don’t look at the price and go with the cheapest, I go with the lowest price per unit.
Sometimes the best deal won’t necessarily be the cheapest so be sure to look at the amount per unit.
7. Buy frozen
While I love fresh veggies and fruit sometimes frozen just makes sense. I always have frozen spinach, broccoli and mixed veggies on hand. Frozen veggies are great for added to soups, stews and casseroles. Frozen fruit is perfect for smoothies. Some people worry about the nutrients being lost when frozen but typically the veggies are frozen at their peak freshness so you’re getting the same good stuff as the fresh fruit and veggies.
8. Prep your own food
Buying things pre-sliced or diced is usually more expensive than buying it whole. When you bring your produce home take some extra time to slice and dice it yourself to save time during the week when you’ll likely want to throw things together rather quickly.
9. Don’t be a brand snob
There are certain things that I will only buy name brand (my ketchup!) but other things, I don’t really care what the brand is. This is especially true for basic things like frozen veggies, nuts, and other basics. If the ingredient list is the same why pay more?
10. Don’t impulse buy/shop when hungry
Do you really need that giant bag of mini-eggs? Chances are you don’t so before you pick up anything not on your list take a second to really think about it. If it’s not something you really need, put it back on the shelf.
Well those are my little tips and tricks for keeping your grocery bill down so you have more moolah to spend on fun things – you know like cute gym clothes.