Eating Healthy on a Dime

I have a love/hate relationship with the grocery story.  I like going to the store (especially when I don’t have my kids with me).  Some of my recipe inspirations come from the grocery store.  I like to browse and take my time – maybe I am weird…but I don’t like going with my kids (I love my kids, just not at the grocery store).  I also really hate paying my grocery bill.  Groceries take up a big part of our monthly budget, which isn’t the funnest way to spend money – clothes, travel, or entertainment would be way more fun.

Honestly, I could trim down my grocery bill a bit, but there are things that I am not willing to compromise on.  The truth-of-the-matter is eating healthy costs more money – it’s just how it is.  I would save a lot of money if I bought bag cereal for breakfast, boxed macaroni and cheese for lunch, and hamburger helper for dinner.  Obviously that is a slight exaggeration, but you get the point.  With that being said, there are things you can do to save some money and not completely destroy your budget.  There are multiple articles all over online for tips on saving money – there are even full blogs on the subject.  I don’t have anything ground-breaking to add, but here is what I have found works for me and my family.

  • I always compare organic produce prices to non-organic prices.  If the organic is comparable I buy organic, if it is way more money I don’t (I just wash it really well when I get home).
  • I can be picky about my produce, but I am way more picky about my animal products.  I always buy natural, hormone-free, and antibiotic free animal products, and will buy organic if it is available, even if it is significantly more money.  I find I save money on animal products when I buy them in bulk.  I buy my grass fed beef products from a local distributor, I will also stock up on organic meat when it goes on sale (which it does from time-to-time at my local grocer).
  • I love Costco.  Costco has a lot of natural organic choices that are significantly cheaper than other stores.  The first example that comes to mind is coconut oil.  You can’t beat the Costco price on coconut oil.
  • There are some things I only buy for myself (does that make me a horrible mom?) .  For example; I buy myself Ezekial bread, and buy my kids/husband sprouted wheat bread. 
  • My local grocer sends coupons in the mail, which are usually for things I commonly buy…so I use them.  Otherwise, I don’t clip other coupons.  I don’t have time, and usually they are coupons for things I never buy.
  • I go to the store with a list.  I am huge on meal planning, and spend about 1 hour a week planning out meals for the week, and writing a grocery list.  I find it keeps me on track while shopping (less impulsive buys)
  • I have a small garden and I shop at farmer’s market during the summer.  A garden can be a HUGE money saver.  We have issues with deer eating our garden, so our’s is small.  If you have a big garden – I am super jealous, and your grocery bill is probably small than mine :)!
  • My biggest money saver is we rarely go out to eat.  We almost never go out for lunch, and eat out for dinner only about once every other week.  I have a hard time justifying eating out when I spend so much money at the grocery store…but there are days, when making dinner is not appealing, and the local cafe is calling my name :).

That is my list.  I am sure I am missing something, but if I got into all the nitty gritty details, I would put all of you to sleep.

What do you do to save money at the grocery store?

Do you like grocery shopping?