hotsparkmama

Support for health & wellness

WAYS TO SAVE ON HEALTHY GROCERIES

on March 12, 2013

pig bankNEVER..i repeat NEVER..did I say NEVER? Because I mean NEVER go grocery shopping on an empty stomach!

PLAN:  Make a list..a real list, not a “wish” list and stick to it!  If you want a lil’ something extra this week to sneak into the cabinet for weak moments (ex: graham crackers) PUT IT ON THE LIST!

BUY GENERIC:  Now I’m not a fancy, name-brand only kinda girl but there are a FEW things I cannot take generic..most of those items would now be on the DO NOT BUY LIST anyway so doesn’t pertain to this HaHa Look at it this way, when you’re cooking w/ several ingredients in one dish, you’re not going to be able to taste which ones were purchased off-brand

SHOP ALONE! HA..if yer like me, you don’t get the opportunity to do that BUT if you have the luxury of leaving the kids w/ someone else DO IT (not just for your sanity but for the greater good of your family’s health).  Kids will tend to point out things w/ their lil’ sad puppy eyes and convince you they’ll just die if they can’t have “just this one thing mom PLEAZZZZZZ”

BRING YOUR CALCULATOR: Unless of course you’re exceptionally great at math and can figure all those prices per ounce in your head.  Of course if you go to Costco and you’re real smart, you can look at the sign and it’ll actually tell you what you’re paying per ounce (I lol b/c I still find myself trying to figure out which is the better deal forgetting they’ve done the guess work for me)

MAKE SMART SUBSTITUTIONS:  Think about what you eat, and then think about what may be a cheaper—at equally healthy—substitute. Like breakfast cereal? Oatmeal is usually cheaper. Snack on chips? Pop some popcorn kernels on your stovetop instead. Be willing to make substitutions on brands and specific ingredients based on sales, too. You may find that a different brand or flavor of yogurt, for example, is a better deal one week. Snag it (I personally am ALL about a deal and NOT brand loyal)

BUY WHOLE FOODS:  Most always, the less processed a food is, the cheaper it is per serving. Apples may cost less than applesauce or apple juice. Canned black beans will be cheaper than refried beans. A block of cheese costs less than shredded cheese. Whole grains like brown rice and oats will be cheaper than processed cereals. Think about the original, whole food that a product is made from and decide if you can eat that whole food as-is or use it to make your own sauce, cereal or juice—instead of paying food manufacturers to do it for you.  This is what you should be striving to do ANYWAY…all the more reason to do so right here!

BUY IN BULK:  But pay attention to the expiration date, if you can use it up before it goes bad OR is it still a “savings” even if you can’t use it all.  For example: you go into the local grocery store and a small bag of shredded lettuce if almost $3, I can buy a 3 lb bag of salad mix for same price (sometimes even less…so IF i throw half of it away am I still saving money?  Well, that’s what I tell my husband!) lol

DON’T GET STUCK IN THE MIDDLE:  Stick to the perimeter of the grocery store; you’ll save money and wind up with bags full of whole foods. When you do find yourself in the middle aisles, aim your gaze toward the top or bottom of the shelves, where the prices are usually lower. Grocers strategically place higher-priced products at eye level.  Middle aisles generally contain sugared, condensed, refined and processed!

EAT YOUR PROTEIN W/O THE MEAT:  Huh?? No, I don’t mean become vegetarian and stop eating meat…just replace one meal a week w/ meat-free protein such as beans or tofu (there are actually some good tofu recipes on Pinterest you might wanna try)  Now honey, I’m a meat & taters girl (tho my taters have switched from golden to sweet haha) but I understand the need to lay off the meat every now & then

READ ADS & CLIP COUPONS:  I’m not an extreme couponer by any means but that darn show really messed up my couponing.  Ever since it came out there’s been a change w/ the way coupons are excepted.  USED to I could use a “Lysol” coupon on any Lysol product, NOW they are product/picture specific!  Ok..back from the rabbit trail..flip thru sales flyers and try matching to your Sunday coupons (I shop by the flyers and rarely EVER run out of the things we use).  Do I need it?  Not always, but if we use it and it’s buy one get one free and I have a coupon, then the store has double coupons..woohoo JACKPOT!

DIY:  I’ve gotten into the whole “do it yourself” trick and have rather enjoyed it (sidebar: did you know you can actually grind refined sugar to make powered (10X) sugar simply by adding a lil’ cornstarch to it?)  You can make your dishes/desserts much healthier by making them from scratch (again, I suggest Pinterest and NO, I DON’T OWN STOCK in it; I just find it so helpful)

EAT SEASONALLY:  In-season produce is cheaper & it tastes better! (NOW, my husband was a 40 yr old bachelor and just bought what he wanted, when he wanted and he still thinks he can just have what he wants whenever..well, he actually does BUT..I try to wait for the sale/in-season)

CARRY-OUT FROM YOU KITCHEN:  Packing your lunches, snack, drink, etc. and taking w/ you may not be the most convenient method but it is certainly the cheapest AND healthiest method.  I can make a salad complete w/ baked chicken and all the fix’n to take the work or I can run to the drive-thru…Hmmm, MY salad will A. cost LESS! B. taste YUM-E-ER! C. not have all that extra sodium in it thats added to preserve!

GROW YOUR OWN FOOD:  So this isn’t the easiest of all the choices as it take patience, God/rain, and NO DEER!  However, plants are cheap, and seeds are even cheaper. You can grow tomatoes, peppers, squash, garlic, onions, broccoli, herbs, and well just a plethera of fruits and vegetables right in your very own backyard

MOST people would agree that the time and effort it takes to clip a few coupons and cook is well worth it once you get in the swing of things~

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