Saving money on food is always a great feeling, but it may be tough to feel like you save any money at all because we are constantly dishing out money on food during the week without even realizing it!
Lately I’ve gotten a lot of emails and personal messages about preventing over spending on groceries coupled with reducing time in the kitchen. I’m here to let you in on some of the best ways to cut back on your food budget every month!
There are several ways you can cut back on spending but I am going to give you the 4 key elements to being successful when grocery shopping. These tips are here to help cultivate a basic foundation of how you can effectively grocery shop without breaking the bank. Take these tips and try incorporating one or two into your weekend grocery haul/meal prep.
This is the first thing I personally do to find what sort of options I have laying around the kitchen. I am an avid user of my freezer when I happen to make more than what I need or if a package of protein had more than what a recipe called for I always freeze the rest. It’s a great habit to not only reduce food waste, but to not have to buy protein every week since it’s typically the more expensive item in grocery hauls.
I will always check the pantry for dry goods/starch options such as rice, pasta, bread, etc. that may be laying around from previous recipes as well! Once you find something you want to use for the upcoming week move on to Step 2.
If you do not have items in your freezer/pantry that can be used or maybe you’re just not feeling what’s in there then move to step 2!
Not everyone has Pinterest BUT most of us know how to use google. The point here is to find NEW recipes to try to jazz things up a bit for you!
We all have those go to recipes that we know how to make off the top of our head, but it’s always exciting to try and incorporate new things! All you need to do is type into the search box on google or Pinterest “recipes with [insert ingredients from freezer/pantry] or you can simply input an ingredient like “sweet potatoes” that you are really craving and find new recipes to shake things up a bit.
After all prepping the SAME food for an entire week limits variety and it gets boring pretty quick. Additionally it limits the variety of nutrients our body is given! Fueling the body appropriately with lots of variety will allow for you to feel at your best because its getting all the different nutrients it needs to function appropriately.
Once you’ve got your recipes take note of how many servings it makes. Then take some time to jot down how many lunches/dinners you need to make and maybe two easy breakfast options.
Typically I will choose 1-2 options for lunch & 1-2 recipes for dinner and then flip flop between 3 different recipes throughout the week. I also know I eat out at least 1-2 times a week so I account for this as well to prevent having to throw out any food!
Once you’ve figured out roughly the number of meals you need to make for the week you can estimate how much you need per ingredient. If you only need food for two meals and it serves four cut all the ingredients in half OR if you want to make the full amount and freeze some for next week, GO FOR IT! Work smarter not harder my friends.
While you’re looking at the amount needed I would go ahead and start writing your grocery list down. I like to just put it into my notes app or I use the reminders app and just make my list since you can check off each item off as you go through the store.
If you’re someone who likes the handwritten list you can do that too! Whatever works to help you remember everything because we know the worst thing EVER is forgetting to buy one single ingredient and then having to go ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE GROCERY STORE…….
If meal planning is something you struggle with or you’re not sure how to adequately fuel your day to day life seek out a Registered Dietitian to help you menu plan and even walk you through the grocery store to introduce all the different options for a variety of meals! If you don’t know where to start email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’m happy to refer you to some amazing RD’s!