I’ve been all over the map lately. First I didn’t care what I fed my family. I didn’t know any more than the basics – fruits/veggies good, sugar/fat bad. That was the long and short of it. I was able to save money by buying boxed mac & cheese and frozen meals. Then I watched “Forks over Knives” and realized how eating red meats, dairy, cheese and processed foods are so bad for me. I started to buy fresh plant-based whole foods.
Then that became expensive. Fast.
Then the kids had their annual dental visits scheduled this month. Cue the “ohmygosh I have no money” freak out.
Thankfully I have amazing friends with way more knowledge about how to eat healthy and save money. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. Eating healthy, non-processed foods does cost more, but it does not have to break my bank. I sent a call out on my Facebook fan page and got the best responses ever. I had to share them with you!
- I will use frozen organic veggies from time to time when we’re on a budget. Buy in BULK!!! Rice and beans are also affordable and yummy! Kristin ~ Our Ordinary Life
- I’ve been spending less since I’ve switched us to eating a (mostly) plant-based, whole food diet. I joined a Bountiful Baskets food coop and get a “basket” (2 laundry baskets 50/50 fruit and veg) for $15. ~ Charmed Valerie
- I spend about $75 a week. My husband eats a ton. We don’t eat processed foods and we try for organic when we can. I save money on milk by having it delivered, a dollar less per gallon adds up. We also have a freezer and buy large portions of meat when we can. This year we bought a 1/4 cow and half a pig. That helps with cost. I try to stock up on things when hey are on sale and pull from my stockpile for cooking when things are not on sale. I agree with what was said above, beans and rice are inexpensive, oats are less than boxes of cereal, and things like nuts and dried berries are way cheaper if you can but them from bulk bins. ~ Catherine, Evolving Mommy
- I have this book called “Cheap. Fast. Good.” You bulk cook X meat plumped up with onion, etc and freeze in portions. Then for the recipes in the book, you thaw X meat and add in rice or pasta, etc. I believe they were on $100 a week budget when writing the book. Get it at your library or it should be cheap on Amazon. ~Reanne
- Make a meal plan and only buy what you need to complete the meal! It will amaze you how much “extras” your used to getting. And make sure you only buy enough to get you to the next week. When you make your plan make sure and use as much of what you have at the house already. Use that can of veggies or box of stuffing that’s been around a while. ~ Audrey, Motherly Misadventures
My friend Kelly has a super blog all about saving money! Kelly of The Centsible Life – check that blog out, tons of valuable info. She plans a 4 week menu and rotates through it every month. You can download her (free) spreadsheet template and make your own menu plan too. She eats a gluten free meal and buys mostly organic, so if you want to peek at her menu, here is her 2012 menu.
Kelly admitted that she spends more on organic produce so she is diligent about tracking where she spends money elsewhere and uses coupons to save money on other items that are not as important – like tissue paper, etc. She also said just cooking in her house saved them a bunch of money. And her kids’ favorite time each week? “One night a week we eat whatever is left in the fridge,” Kelly said. “My kids love this because there is such a variety on the table for them.”
Now that I have all this awesome information I am going to put it to use. I have a bunch of stuff in my cupboards and freezer to use up before I go to the store, but I will let you know how much I spend and if I am able to keep my grocery bill below $100 each week.
How do you save money on groceries and food? How much do you currently spend each week? Thank you for helping me!