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How to Eat Well and Save Money

eat well and save money

photo credit: Tax Credits via photopin cc

I don’t know anyone these days who doesn’t keep a close eye on their budget.

Well, except for a guy in New Jersey who just won $338 million dollars this week playing Powerball.

But for the rest of us, it’s something we need to consider.

However sticking to a budget is not an excuse to forgo healthy eating.

Don’t believe me?

Here are some tips for eating well and saving money…

Buy in bulk:

If you haven’t checked out the bulk bins at your grocery store, do it! You would be amazed how much more you pay for nuts, oatmeal, quinoa, rice, or other pantry staples simply for fancy packaging or brand names.  If you buy in bulk, you can buy exactly the amount you need, save money, and store your goods in containers at home so they are always on hand.

Make it from scratch:

I understand the draw that prepackaged, premade food can have when you are shopping, but you may want to reconsider some of these options. With just a little prep work you can make homemade pasta sauce, pizza, and other meals for cheaper than you can buy them. Also it is less expensive to buy block cheese and shred it yourself and to buy a head of lettuce rather than a bag. It is estimated that these tips can save the average consumer 10 to 20%. Also, this way you can make big batches and freeze portions for quick meal some other time.

Eat more produce:

I promise I am not just making this up because I think fresh fruits and veggies are so important (even though I do). Adding more fresh produce to your meals and snacks can cut your grocery bill and your waistline.  That seems like a pretty great deal to me.

Buy produce in season:

This is a handy follow up to the last point. Fruits and vegetables that are in season will be less expensive than those that aren’t. I know the idea of eating a peach in the middle of winter may sound appealing, but it will also be significantly more expensive and not taste as good as it would during the late summer. Seasonal foods are more nutritious and they don’t need to be imported from halfway across the world.

Write a list, check it twice:

Have you had those times when we are at the grocery store haphazardly grabbing whatever looks good simply because you are hungry? I know I have. And usually what I end up with is a bunch of stuff and no real meals. If you make a list and stick with it, you can save a lot more money than you think. As a matter of fact, research from the University of Pennsylvania has shown that people who resist impulse buying can save as much as 23% on their grocery bills.

Use cash:

Here’s an interesting tip that had never occurred to me before: try shopping with cash instead of credit or debit cards. If you can only use what you have on hand, you have no choice but to stick to your budget. It has been estimated that people spend from 12 to 18% less on average if they shop with cash.

Comments

  1. Jim commented:

    As always,Marisa provides very good content here again. I always click through when see has posted a new post. Since I only work part time now doing some baking for a local coffee shop and have more time to spend at home,I now do more cooking from the basic ingredients or from “scratch” and am amazed at how much less I am spending on food now. All my local grocery stores only have the normal produce in the bulk bins so I will have to look for a bulk food place or travel a little further to buy in from the bulk. A great idea though to save money on.

    • Thank you so much!
      Cooking from scratch is one of my favorite tips. Not only can you save money, it also allows you to make as much food as you want, portion leftovers for later, and you can control the quality of ingredients that you use.
      Also, I realize that not every grocery store has a bulk bin area, but more and more of them do now. This is how I always get my quinoa, oatmeal, nuts, and other dry goods.

  2. Kathy; commented:

    Aside from the bulk buying, I have been doing the rest and, yes, it does save you money. I shop with cash all the time and use a list. Sometimes I’ll see things, other than food maybe, that I would like to add to the cart and I just mark it on my list as I go. If I find that I’ve gone over the amount of cash I have to spend then I remove such items from the cart before cashing in at the register. It is the only thing that works for me.

    • That is such a terrific tip. I love the idea of allowing for impulse buys, but only if you have stuck to your budget and have enough money leftover. It makes you think about what you really need.

  3. Elpedio Basa commented:

    Your tips in eating well and saving money were just the impetus I needed. Mahalo nui loa (thank you very much in Hawaiian), Marisa.

    Aloha!

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