.Hi Relishments readers! I’m on maternity leave, but some awesome bloggers have volunteered to step in and keep new content coming your way. I may be popping in occasionally, but I really appreciate the opportunity to take some time off with our new addition. Please show my guest authors some love and check out their sites and social media! Today’s post is from Brynn of The Domestic Dietitian.
A common complaint about eating “healthy” is that it can be expensive. While it’s true that buying only organic foods can get costly, maintaining a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to break the bank.
Here are a few tips that I use when buying groceries for my own family of four that have helped us keep our grocery bills within budget:
Meal Plan, Meal Plan, Meal Plan
- Making a plan for the week and then making a grocery list accordingly will ensure you are buying enough for complete meals without buying too many impulse buys that will just go to waste
- I like to sit down with two pieces of paper when meal planning: one for the week’s menu and one for the grocery list for the store. Making the lists at both times will help prevent those last minute runs to the store for a forgotten items
- Check your pantry and fridge to see if you already have any items on your list to avoid purchasing repeat ingredients
Plan Meals around what is On Sale / In Season
- Use the sale ads that come in the mail when planning your meals. If pork tenderloin is on sale, plan on having pork tenderloin one night for dinner. If ground beef is at an unbelievable price, plan a taco night or meatloaf
- Use produce that is in season to ensure the best quality and the lowest price. Buying vegetables when they aren’t in season often costs much more
- If I’m not making a specific vegetable dish with a certain meal and just need a plain old veggie, I often just write “veggie” on my grocery list and then just pick out something that’s on sale once I get to the store. Being flexible with certain items on your list helps you spot deals at store
Consider going Meatless One Day a Week
- Creating meals focused on vegetables, whole grains, and legumes is a great way to increase the fiber and nutrients in your diet while saving money at the store
- We started going meat free on Mondays for the past two months in our household and it’s really helped us save at the grocery store
Buy in Bulk
- It’s often cheaper per serving if you buy certain things (like chicken) in bulk. Consider planning two meals utilizing the same ingredient during the week so you can save money by buying more at one time.
- Analyze your grocery list to ensure you aren’t buying an item you aren’t going to use all of. For example, if you are making a dish that requires 2 cups of spinach and plan on buying a bag of spinach, add a dish later that week that uses the rest of the spinach. This saves money on having to buy two separate ingredients and ensures less waste
Use Whole Ingredients when Possible
- Convenient ingredients are time savers in the kitchen, but often cost more at the store.
- Try to buy whole ingredients and prep them yourself. For example buying a block of cheese versus shredded cheese, buying whole fruit instead of pre-cut fruit, whole carrots instead of shredded carrots, etc.
- On our weekly meal plan, I save one day for simply “leftover” day. It’s usually Thursday night and I don’t plan any specific meals for this day. I simply schedule it as a day to use up any leftovers from the week.
- This can mean anything from leftover entrees from the previous couple dinners or using up leftover vegetables before they spoil
- A great idea to use up leftovers is to make a stir fry or a loaded frittata using up any leftover chicken, beef, or vegetables from the week.
Brynn McDowell is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for nutrition, health and wellness. Currently a stay at home mom to 2 little ones by day and creator of The Domestic Dietitian at night. A blog designed at helping create a Healthy & Happy Lifestyle in a Hectic Home.
On her blog: The Domestic Dietitian