Okay Class, I would like everyone to write this down in your books of No Joke: Rachel Robinson is a Champion. She is a loving wife and mother with a focus on leading a healthy lifestyle. She has a blog, Grow it Kill it Eat it, where you can find her keeping her readers fully stocked on mostly Paleo but definitely clean recipes as well as her journey with AdvoCare. She has come to us to share some tips on how to save money on groceries. Saving money is always fun! All the Best, Coralie
I USED to do a lot of things differently. I USED to spend way too much on groceries, I USED to eat crap foods and wonder why I felt bad, and I USED to think eating fresh, healthy foods cost too much money.
Notice the trend….
I basically do none of the above now. I have a very small grocery budget, I feel amazing, and my family and I eat like kings!
This is not a post about how to be an extreme couponer and buy 457 bottles of mustard and 318 boxes of hamburger helper. This is a post about how to completely revamp your grocery shopping with just a little bit of time and effort. While I use coupons, I’m not going to get into them today because I realize many of you (like me) barely have the time to get to the store, much less deal with a bunch of coupons. I love them and use them when I can, but their use is pretty negligible for meat and produce anyway.
Feeding 2 aspiring body builders and three ravenous children can get VERY expensive if the shopping is not handled carefully.
Here are some of my favorite tips I’ve gathered through trial and error:
- The most important thing you can do to save money on your groceries is to PLAN strategically. Plan your meals based on sales, not your list based on the meals you want. Trust me, there are plenty of times I WANT to buy a NY Strip, but I absolutely refuse to pay the regular price of $12 or more per pound. I wait until they are on sale for $6.99/lb or less and stock up. Another trick is to buy a “loin roast” which goes on sale for about $5.99/lb and cut it into steaks when you get home. Voila—NY Strip steaks for cheap!
- Choose your produce based on what’s on sale. Just like meat, choose produce wisely. In my house, we consume MANY sweet potatoes. MANY. However, the regular price is about $.99/lb. Every couple of months, I see them on sale at Winn Dixie or Publix for around $.39/lb and even cheaper around Thanksgiving. When I see this, I buy at least 30. I ask for a paper bag in the checkout and store them in it in the back corner of my pantry. They will keep for months that way. Another option is to bake them, scoop them out into Ziploc bags and freeze them. One of the best ways to add variety into your diet is to just buy the produce that’s on sale. That means, I don’t buy salad every week. I buy it every other week when it’s B1G1 at publix. This week, salad wasn’t on sale but tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, and bell peppers were so that’s what we’re eating. My only exception to this rule is bananas. I buy them every time I enter the store.
- Speaking of bananas…Winn Dixie sells bags of “ugly” bananas for pennies. I buy big bags of these and slice them up and freeze in Ziploc bags. They are perfectly fine for baking and mixing in my smoothies.
- Another tip about produce: shop farmers markets. If you’re in Baldwin County, there are an abundance of wonderful markets and produce stands where you can buy local produce. I have compared Allegri’s prices with the grocery stores and they were cheaper for almost every item! Also, Fairhope has a local produce delivery service, Chasing Fresh (https://www.facebook.com/ChasingFresh). While their prices don’t beat markets or grocery stores, I have heard amazing things about their produce.
- I still have mixed feelings about wholesale clubs like Sam’s. Some things are fantastically cheaper to buy in bulk, others not so much. I don’t have a Sam’s Club card but I have a dear friend who takes me with her sometimes. My most recent purchases have been a 3 lb bag of raw almonds for $11.50, Frozen tilapia, a pint of vanilla extract for about $6 and I also buy eggs 15 dozen at a time for $22. That is not the best price for eggs. I frequently find them at Winn Dixie and Walgreens for $1/dozen.
- Speaking of Walgreens, I have gotten some great deals on food there recently from watching the sale papers. In addition to the eggs, I have gotten cans of almonds for $1, Cans of tuna for $0.49 and Shredded cheese for $1.50
- When something you like and use a lot of goes on sale for a great price, buy A LOT of it. Every time emerald nuts are B1G1 at Publix, I buy about 20 cans. When carton egg whites are on sale, I buy about 10. Hummus is on sale and there’s a coupon in store? You better believe I will buy 20 and freeze them in Ziploc bags. That way, I never have to worry about running out and having to pay full price for something I enjoy.
- Finally, my absolute favorite tip for saving money on your food involves chicken. I invite you to check out Zaycon Foods. They purchase meat from local or semi local farmers and sell it to members at a fantastic price! The most recent price for this amazing, hormone-free chicken was $1.79/lb. It is FREE to become a member and you’ll receive an email when they are going to be in your area. They offer other types of meats but I have only tried the chicken. As I said, feeding 2 lumberjack/bodybuilders requires a lot of protein, but that doesn’t have to equal a lot of money. I purchase 80 lbs of chicken at a time! Here is the link to sign up with Zaycon:
I hope you have found some of these tips helpful. Here are some of my recent trips: