I know that there have been a bajillion “Eat on a budget” posts around the blogosphere over the past couple months. I figured that instead of regurgitating the same old advice, I would sit down and think about how I personally would actually save money on the grocery bill if I had to.
Here is what I came up with:
1. Drop the booze.Booze is a wholly unnecessary evil in the grocery budget. While a glass of red-wine here and there is great for anti-oxidants, you really don’t need it to survive. Booze adds up to a lot of money when you look at it.
2. Cut back on the fancy coffee.I buy fancy organic coffee and espresso. Fact of the matter though is that there is free coffee at my workplace. It may not be the best or most flavorful but it does the job. I could easily cut back on buying expensive coffee from the grocery store in a pinch.
3. Cut back on expensive meat cuts and increase eggs and less expensive meats.You really don’t need a freezer full of porterhouse steaks to eat primally. Pick up several pounds of ground meat (be wary the trans fatty ones). Eggs are also a great, inexpensive, healthy protein and fat option. Also, bone-in full skin poultry is pretty cheap! Ditch the expensive boneless skinless chicken breast and buy a whole chicken. Not only will you be getting more nutrition from it but you will be saving yourself a ton of cash. I actually recently stopped buying canned tuna which is getting awfully expensive($1.99 per can for real tuna in water – Most canned tuna is in vegetable broth with soy) and started buying extra eggs instead to save on some grocery cash.
4. Save money on your produce.Buy the produce that is in season. Grok only had what was in season available to him anyways. You really don’t need 6 different veggies in every meal (although it is delicious). Focus on one veggie one week and another the next. Certain veggies are almost always a steal too… like a good head of romaine lettuce. You can fulfill your veggie needs inexpensively.
5. Shop the sales. You can almost always find one vegetable, fruit or nut that is on sale for a great deal. Stock up on that one! For example, almonds are on sale at my local grocer for $3.99 per pound. This is a heck of a lot cheaper than the other nuts at about $7 per pound so right now I am focusing on almonds for my nut consumption. When they go back up, I will switch to another nut that is a better deal. If I was limiting myself to say… walnuts, I would be missing out on $4 per pound!
6. Buy in bulk where possible.If you have the freezer space, buy a 1/4 of a cow… it will save you a ton in the long run. Ground meat is also usually significantly cheaper if you buy it in bulk. Other bulk deals to lookout for are nuts, fruits (the pre bagged apples and oranges and grapefruit… etc), almond flour etc.
7. Do it yourself.Many of the foods that you may be buying pre-made can be made from scratch simply and easily at home. They are often more nutritious this way too. For example, I have started making my own mayonnaise… this is saving me a ton of money. My homemade mayonnaise is also WAY healthier than the store bought which is made from soy oil and some chemicals and bleh. Some other do it yourself items that are easy and will save you cash… salsa, guacamole, jerky, salad dressing etc.
8. DON’T save on the grocery bill.That’s right, I said don’t save or skimp on the grocery bill. What could possibly be more important to your health and well being than eating well? Look first at other areas in your life that you can save… movies (a movie ticket is worth like 5 pounds of ground beef), premium television, nights out at the club wherever. Prioritize what is most important to you and if it is your health, then start saving in some of the areas towards the bottom of the priority list before your start diving into the grocery budget.
Anyways, I hope this has implanted some ideas in your head and got the gears turning. I also hope that this is a little more involved and personal than some of the other “budget eating” posts you have read.
What are some other ways that you save dough on the grocery bill?