Groceries can easily get right up there on the list of biggest expenses each month. With a little preparation and leg work, you can chip away at the dollars you spend on those trips to the grocery store, without compromising taste or nutrition.
If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, the tips and recipes in this post should help you cut your grocery bills by a noticeable percentage and give you a little more breathing room in your budget.
My first recommendation is to find the right store for your budget. Consider the wholesale markets like Sam’s or Costco, or discount chains like Aldi. You may have some local, employee or family owned chains that offer prices much lower than some of the national grocery chains. Consider what works best for you and those in your household. Buying in large quantities at the wholesale market may not be your best choice if your family rarely agrees on what to eat. Those extra large sizes could go to waste. On the flip side, if your schedule is crammed and you want to try to limit your trips to the store, buying in bulk may be right for you. Budget shopping is not one-size-fits-all, so think about your weekly and monthly routines, and find what works best for your schedule.
Some people find that sitting down once a week and looking over all the sales at the various stores works best for them. If you clip coupons, or utilize online coupons, this would be a good time to try to match up your coupons to the weekly sale items and get extra bang for your buck. Talk to friends and find out where they shop, and where they’ve found the best deals. You never know who will have a good tip for you. Think about local farm stands in Summer and Fall for fresh local produce, as well! Vegetable co-ops can be another great option, and you can think about going in together with a friend or neighbor to make sure the quantities are right for you.
When budget is a factor, the freezer is our friend. Stock up on the sale items and freeze them for later use. A couple posts with help on this topic: How to cook and freeze beans from The Lean Green Bean, and a post on how to freeze fresh produce (don’t let it go to waste!). Also, storing your fruit properly can extend it’s life and usefulness, so be sure to check out this post.
The same goes for non-perishable pantry items. When there’s a great price, double up on your quantities. Here’s a list of budget friendly items to keep stocked in your kitchen, from registered dietitian Jamila Rene. Based on this list, I’ve put together recipes from the FitFluential Ambassadors and community, with budget friendly ingredients. Make sure you’re stocked up on some basic spices, seasonings and ingredients, and you’ll be surprised how far they can stretch. Let me know what you think! Enjoy –
15 Budget Friendly Recipes
Collage Photo Credit: 24CarrotLife.com, FitFoodieFinds.com, TheFitFork.com,
Two ingredient Paleo Bread from Purely Twins
Lightened Beef Taco Pasta Bake from The Fit Fork
Black Bean, Zucchini and Corn Tacos from The Fit Fork
Sweet Potato Burrito Bowl from The Fit Fork
Vegetarian Curry Stew with Cashew Quinoa from 24 Carrot Life
Vegetarian Quinoa Fried Rice from 24 Carrot Life
Cottage Cheese Mac N Cheese from 24 Carrot Life
5 Minute Chicken Quesadilla from Healhty Nibbles and Bits
Easy Prep and Budget Friendly Gluten Free Meals from Cotter Crunch
BLT Pasta Salad from Running to the Kitchen
Healthy Chicken Enchiladas from Food Faith Fitness
Taco Casserole from Fit Foodie Finds
Lentil Stew from Wildly Fit
Black Bean Meatless Meatballs from The Lean Green Bean
Greek Black Bean Burgers from The Lean Green Bean
Want even more tips on staying on track with your grocery budget?
Check out these posts from Good Housekeeping and the Huffington Post.