Grocery Shopping on a Budget

 

A big thanks to those of you that gave input on other ideas to help you to be physically healthy on a budget! Seems like I have a lot of lurkey lurkers these days. Come on out and say hi people! I don’t bite…unless I’m REALLY hungry! (This post will make you REALLY hungry!)

So, yesterday’s post was all about being fit on a budget. Today, as another follow up to the Fit Blog chat, I thought we would talk about food. I am going to start by being totally honest with you. In case you haven’t noticed…I am not a foodie. *gasp* I know, I know. There is a reason I don’t blog about my food (aside from an occasional recipe.) While I like to think I maintain a healthy balance and eat well, some probably wouldn’t agree. For starters, I eat meat. YES you heard me, RED MEAT. Not all the time, but I do. and it’s good. and I am ok with that. and I know you aren’t supposed to start a sentence with and, and you are supposed to start one with a capital letter. It’s ok, it’s my blog and I shall do as I please. I also have sweets everyday, mainly chocolate. I love my sweet tea, too (on the weekends.)

Now that the grammar police are after me, let me get to my point. What kind of fun would life me without chocolate, or cupcakes, or pasta in alfredo sauce every now and then? Not so much in this girl’s opinion. So, When I discuss healthy eating on a budget, it may look a little different than some people’s version of healthy eating on a budget. But, stay with me. These principles can help you even if you don’t eat just like me. If you don’t eat like me, that’s cool, too. Your choice! Not saying it’s good/bad/awesome/stupid. I admire food bloggers because I could never do it.  I just want to be clear that I never claimed to be a food blogger.

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1.) Make a list

Sounds so simple, but is so complicated in real life. It’s so tempting to see the newest thing, or something that looks so yummy because you are hungry (my next point.) Unless it’s something you truly forgot to put on your list and need to get for a recipe, etc. stick to the list. It will stop you from impulse buying!

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2.) Don’t grocery shop on an empty stomach

This is a pitfall for me. When I shop hungry, EVERYTHING looks good and I buy way more food than planned or necessary. This leads to going over budget, food going bad in the refrigerator because I simply cannot consume it all before it goes bad, etc.

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3.) COUPONS and sale papers!

There is a coupon craze happening right now, and I like it! I always clip coupons. Yes, a lot of them are for processed foods, but not all. I can usually find coupons on things like yogurt, butter, cheese, cereal, etc. Also, check manufacturers websites for coupons of mailing lists for coupons. Be sure to get the most bang for your buck with coupons. If you have a coupon for something AND wait until it’s on sale then you can save a lot. Also, stock up a little bit if you can, but not like the creepy people who turn their basements into a panty. weird.

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4.) Make things from scratch

Yes, it takes more time and effort. This one is a judgment call if your time is more valuable to you, or if you are a bad cook. Pre made or packaged things are generally more expensive, but also more convenient.

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5.) Buy in Bulk

This ties in with the coupon one a little bit. Be sure not to be wasteful though! If you have something like a Sams club, etc. near you then take advantage! My family gets great steals from there all the time in bulk and for a great price. You just have to do a little research and math. (Once again, judgment call. If you got a D in math, you may want to skip this on.)

Bottom line in my book is plan ahead. if you make a plan, have a list and coupons, know what is on sale, and shop after eating, I think you are headed in the right direction! Like I stated before, I am by no means an expert in the food department, these are just a few simple tricks that have helped me stay within my budget and shop for food the smart way.

QOTD: What do you do to save money on food while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle?

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*all of the above pictures are from dining in Disneyworld Smile

Comments

  1. I stock up on non-perishables when they’re on sale. One of my goals is to set aside some time each weekend to clip coupons. I never do it but know it can help so much!

  2. Lurker here! Actually I just started following you on Twitter — and I read your Disney Marathon recap – congrats!! I live in Orlando, so I especially love to read the Disney success stories. I’ll try to stop by and comment more often :)

    Anyways – I 100% agree with your list. Especially making lists and not going shopping hungry! I would probably add one more — don’t be afraid to buy generic/store brands. Sometimes they even have organic at a cheaper price than regular brands. Little savings add up!

    • Hi!!! thanks so much for saying hi!! Thanks for reading! nice hearing from ppl from time to time, I’m sure you understand :)
      Thts a great tip about buying generic!
      How fun to live in orlando btw!

  3. You’re killing me with the yummy disney food! I need to be more diligent about coupons. Ive gotten lazy. I generally look for food deals, too. Thankfully, my MIL is a god coupon shopper, so ive learned how to shop the ads.

    Another way to save money at work is to bring your lunch. Also, what I do is bring in a half gallon of skim milk every week and keep it in the fridge. I make mocha cafe au laits every morning with coffee and hot chocolate and milk. I save a fortune not going to starbucks every morning! $1.99 jug of milk lasts a week. Sometimes milk is on sale for $1.50!

  4. I like to buy wheat pasta when it is buy one get one free. I also buy vodka sauce, so when I need to make a meal I can just toss in the pasta and sauce and then sizzle grilled chicken or a chicken apple sausage etc or even fish. I also like the salad kits in a bag and I keep dried cranberries in the house along with lemon and oil and vinegar…Open a salad bag that has carrots and other different types of lettuce and put in some dried cranberries, chick peas and squeeze a lemon over it with a drizzle of oil and vinegar. Its tasty and fresh and healthy.

  5. great tips!

  6. I try to stick to a budget, but I know I could be 100x better if I spent more time planning meals and reviewing the sales. The grocery store I go to has the best prices in the area, but I still end up making impulse purchases. Great tips!

  7. I look over the sale flyers every week and try to get the items for the best price. I also try to stay in season so that tends to lower the bill as well. That being said, I am willing to spend more on healthy foods and cutback on miscellaneous items throughout the week.

  8. Christine says:

    I agree that a list is important! I would love to look through sale papers but I feel like I do not have time. I look for recipes I want to make that week and then make the list!

    Where in Disney is the last picture from? Must be a buffet (or concierge lounge food)…but I see sushi and I LOVE sushi!

  9. All great tips! I also cut back on the meat when I’m trying to save money and rely more on tofu, beans, eggs, and nuts for protein. My biggest vice are bars. Every once in a while I’ll make my own and not buy any that week, but they’re so tempting and easy.

  10. I had to laugh out loud at the picture that you posted of a salad. EAT YOUR SALAD! You hate salad! Hehe!

    Great tips…I need to take more time to clip coupons. Not enough hours in the day!

  11. I am a foodie also, so eating on a budget, while being healthy, and also making sure the food actually tastes good can be tricky. However, recently I’ve been using some helpful online tools. Sometimes I shop by http://www.foodformyfamily.com ‘s weekly menu. She makes sure that some foods are used more than once, and makes sure that the groceries aren’t too expensive, plus she plans the whole week’s dinners for you, shopping list included! Also, just recently I started using http://www.plantoeat.com , where you can plan your own menu, and they make your shopping list for you. Both of these tools help me stay organized, which in turn helps me save money. Plus, I don’t have to run to the grocery store everyday because I forgot something! Also, shop bulk foods as much as possible if you have a grocery store nearby that has one. Eat less meat. Eat less processed foods. Shop Costco/Sam’s Club for things you use often (for us its olive oil, frozen waffles, chicken, flank steak, and popcorn).

  12. I love Running With Sass’s new look!
    My biggest tip is to avoid going out to eat as much as possible.

    PS-It is totally fine to start a sentence with ‘and.’

  13. I’m a lurker coming out too. I found you from the disboards (KristinAnne over there). I enjoy reading about your races and running advice. I had a baby 3 months ago. After a rough pregnancy, I managed to come out 30 pounds lighter than I went in…besides my daughter it’s the single silver lining from what I went through, and I don’t want the weight loss to be for naught. Now that I’m able to exercise again, I want to get back into running. I’ve been looking for races in my area. Course there is currently about 4 feet of snow on the ground (no lie or exaggeration), but once it’s finally nice out again, I can’t wait.
    As far as the food advice goes, I agree with your suggestions. Also, we shop at the cheapest grocery store around (Market Basket) and save at least $20-$30 because of it.

    • hi there! Thanks for saying hi. Congrats on the baby and weight loss!
      OMG about the snow. I don’t know how you people do it! So sorry! I hope you can find some races in your area. they are so fun and addicting!

  14. Great tips! As a college student, I have to be very careful with my budget!

  15. In an effort to NOT be a lurky lurker…Hi! I enjoy reading your blog because I too LOVE disney and have gotten into running. Congrats on being a Marathoner now! Can’t wait to read more of your blogs!

  16. Great tips! It is always challenging to eat healthy while trying to stay on budget. Thanks for sharing!

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