How much is your monthly grocery bill? According to BusinessInsider.com monthly grocery bills range from 300$ and up. Many believe that eating healthy, fresh, and organic meals is not affordable. While, organic and healthy food options are indeed more costly, there are definite ways to save on your grocery bill every time you go shopping. A limited grocery budget does not have to mean unhealthy meals.
1. Purchase only in-season produce. In-season means cheaper.
Many households are used to cooking same meals and using the same produce. It is important to be flexible with the produce you buy and the meals you cook. While an in season avocado will cost as low as 1$ in NYC, when out of season, it can cost up to 4$. Out of season means not in my cart!
2. Purchase products on weekly sales. Check the weekly circulars for the grocery stores before you go shopping to see what produce is on sale. If you shop at Whole Foods, download the Wholefoods app, and browse through the sales before you visit the store. Every week, you can create meals based on the products you purchased on sale. It is a fun and creative way to stay on the budget.
3. Do not buy anything with more than 1 ingredient. Precooked meals are more expensive than cooking from scratch, and many times less healthy. Cooking does not have to be elaborate or take hours. In some cases, it can be as fast as making a precooked meal.
4. Know your prices. Shop around for the best deals and know your prices well. For example what is a good price for avocado? Anything, over 1.25$ is too expensive. If there is no affordable avocado, just buy another healthy veggie. We consider prices that are $1.50 a lb or less for light vegetables to be good deals . For heavy vegetables, prices that are 1$ or lower per pound are great as well.
5. Buy 365 Everyday Value brand from Whole Foods. This brand is made by Whole Foods and is oftentimes cheaper. Many of its products are indeed organic such as organic pea crisps snacks, organic crackers, organic taco shells, organic coconut oil, and organic baby carrots and many more.
6. Shop for groceries online.
Shopping online for pantry items might actually be cheaper since you can use coupons online. It can also save you time, and who doesn't like having extra time?
Our favorite online shopping is at Target for pantry items such as grains and beans. We also really like shopping Whole Foods with prime now, since the delivery is free. Plus, Whole Foods is now owned by Amazon and has a great customer service. If something is wrong with your order, they will fix the problem and refund you whenever necessary.
7. Use grocery rewards app such as Ibotta. Ibotta pays cash back for various grocery, household, and personal health items. All you need to do is click on the store you're shopping at in Ibotta app, and look for deals on products you were going to purchase. After the purchase, you will take a picture of the receipt and submit it to the app to get your cash back.
8. Go to the Farmer's markets for the best produce. We LOVE Farmer's market. There are so many reasons to attend them! First, you are helping a small farm be profitable and sell its merchandise. Second, small farms sell the best tasting, freshest, most amazing produce. They care about what they grow and how they do so. While, some items might be more expensive at the Farmer's market, we always find produce that is sold at store prices or lower. In our book, that is a plus plus! Some items that are usually well priced at Farmer's markets are greens, such as kale, spinach and collard greens. We also oftentimes see great deals on honey, zucchini, melons, cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli among many others.
9. As cashier scans the groceries, double check that the price is right. Oftentimes, we accidentally grab a product that is not on sale, or we misread the sale terms. It is important to keep the eye on the prices as items are getting scanned to make sure you get the deals you were shopping for.
Eating healthy does not have to be costly. What is important is paying attention to the price of each item you purchase, and making sound decisions every grocery trip. Compare the prices at different stores to find the best deals. Check out weekly circulars to find out what's on sale. Be aware of what you put into your cart. A healthy and delicious meal every day can be very affordable with a little effort and a lot of price awareness. Cooking meals on daily basis versus going out for meals is already a great leap forward to saving money and eating healthy. Job well done! Keep on going because you are unstoppable!