- Plan Ahead: Before you step foot inside the grocery store, make a list of exactly what you need. I like to plan out my entire week of meals, write a detailed list, then shop accordingly. This prevents me from making last minute decisions and just grabbing anything (and everything!) that looks good at the moment. If I stick to my plan, then I will eliminate any unnecessary items that may bump up my grocery bill.
- Be Flexible: Although a list is crucial, you can save so much money by being somewhat flexible with certain items. For example, if you planned one meal to have asparagus as a side, but you see broccoli on sale for half the price – be smart and make that swap! But, when you see a sale, this does not mean just add the item onto your list; that will end up pushing your cost through the roof if you do this with several things. Instead, see if the item can fit on your list as a substitute for an already existing ingredient. If not, skip the sale and save your cash!
- Buy Meat in Bulk: Each week I buy a family pack of chicken breasts, then cook them all at once. Throughout the week I use this chicken for several different recipes, like chicken alfredo, quesadillas, chicken pot pie, and fajitas. It saves us so much money buying a bulk pack of meat and distributing it throughout the week, as opposed to buying several different types of meat for each day. If you don’t want the same type of meat every day, you can also buy different meats in bulk, separate them into smaller portions, and then freeze them. You can thaw the smaller portions day by day when you are ready to cook each specific meal.
- Substitute Frozen For Fresh: Many people believe that fresh produce is healthier than frozen, but that is not always true. Frozen fruits and veggies are often picked at their peak ripeness and then immediately frozen to preserve all of the wonderful nutrients. Another benefit of choosing frozen when possible is the sometimes huge price difference. Frozen produce is usually much, much cheaper than the fresh options – and they last so much longer!
- Stay Away From Overpriced Junk Foods: There is a common misconception that healthy foods are so much more expensive than the unhealthy options. However, in reality, if you plan out your meals properly and choose produce that is in-season, your healthy meals can cost much less than expected. When you veer off onto the chip, cookie, and soda aisles, you are actually adding expensive and probably extremely unhealthy items into your cart. Of course we all have a few items that we enjoy every once in a while, but the key is to TREAT yourself when necessary by maintaining a balanced diet the majority of the time.
For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.
With Love, Jeni