Guest post from Pam of Be Healthy Be Happy Wellness
Want to save money on whole foods? Prefer not to purchase convenience food items? Maybe you’re just not interested in figuring out coupons?
Don’t worry, there are still several ways to get substantial savings on your groceries:
1. Buy what’s in season.
This one is my favorite tip — not only will you be purchasing your produce at it’s lowest price, it’s more likely to be local, fresh, and taste better! We tend to eat a lot of apples in the fall, asparagus in the spring, and tomatoes in the summer.
If you are interested in a wider variety of produce year-round, buy it when it’s in season and freeze or can extra for the rest of the year. We do this with blueberries, peaches and apples.
For example, I never have to purchase a pint of blueberries for $4 in the winter. Instead, I can pull a bag from the freezer that were frozen the day after they were picked (and purchased for $2 a pound!). Let’s face it, a winter blueberry shipped all the way across the country just doesn’t taste as good as one picked in July!
2. Check out your local farmer’s market.
Even here in the Midwest, we are starting to get winter farmer’s markets — yes, the selection is a bit more limited, but the produce is fresh, reasonably priced, and healthful!
In the summer, when the competition (and prices) are fiercer, a great way to get extra savings is to offer to buy a large quantity from a farmer. Often, you can get a better price if you buy in bulk. Then, split your bulk purchase with a friend if you don’t need (or can’t use) it all before it goes bad.
3. Buy straight from the source.
Anyone eating a whole foods diet knows that meat is the most expensive part of the meal! A great way to save on meat (and ensure the quality is what you want for your family), is to purchase directly from a local farmer.
Many farmers will sell their meat in portions (1/4 or 1/2 a cow or pig is a great size for a family of four to six). If that’s still too much meat for your family, find some friends to go in on the meat with you.
We purchase our meat once a year from a local farmer who raises his livestock in an organic, grass-fed manner. Yes, that one-time-a-year the bill is high, but we have delicious meat the rest of the year and our monthly grocery bill tends to be quite low.
4. Plan your meals around what’s in season.
This tip ties right along with #1 and #3. I look at the ad to determine what produce is on sale and in season, and plan my weekly meals based upon those items along with a variety of the meat that’s already in my freezer. It’s easy to menu plan and my weekly grocery bill stays low!
5. Make your own desserts and snacks.
Don’t buy the individual packaged goodies. They cost a fortune!
Instead, once a week, make up a batch of cookies, a tray of muffins, or a loaf of quick bread and then portion them out into individual servings. Your kids won’t complain about eating the same cookie and quick bread for a week if it’s delicious!
For snacks, think of easy things like air popped popcorn, cut up veggies and fruits with dip, or a small cheese and cracker plate.
Enjoy these tips and apply them to your own shopping — you’ll find yourself eating better and saving money at the same time!
Pam Howard is a Holistic Health Coach who specializes in helping busy moms (and others) become healthier, so they can enjoy a happy, fulfilling life. Find her at Be Healthy Be Happy Wellness