Written By: The Green Crunchy Mother
We are a family of five, and feeding all of us can get very costly. With three boys aged 17, 14, and almost ten to feed we seem to run out of food very quickly. Between our regular weekly trips to Costco, grocery stores and Walmart, it adds up very quickly. Some weeks we spend more, even double!
This blog post will teach you how we have managed to stretch our dollar and reduce our food costs. It takes dedication and patience, but it is possible.
We Shop Seasonally
Our family eats plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables daily. We want to make sure our boys eat healthily, so we leave the produce readily available and washed for them. We also cut up and slice the fruits and veggies for them, this makes it more enticing for them to grab this as a snack.
Fresh produce can be very expensive and not accessible to many if you are purchasing out of season. Every fruit and vegetable has its own unique growing period and if you purchase out of season you will end up paying more. We always purchase frozen as an alternative if we are unable to find a good deal.
Considering that we live in a rural area with plenty of farms surrounding us, we have access to purchase directly from the farmers. Plenty of major cities have Farmers Markets and you can generally find good deals on fresh and local produce.
Grow Your Own
If you have the time, why not grow your own? During the summer months we grow some of our own produce outdoors. Our property also has plenty of raspberries trees that we indulge in every season.
We also purchased an indoor greenhouse this year and we will be able to grow our produce and herbs all year round.
Plan Your Meals
Meal planning can seem like a tedious and daunting task in the beginning, but once it becomes a habit it will save you time and money. We have implemented this into our daily routine and it has simplified our lives.
We no longer wander around the grocery stores blindly. We purchase what we need for each meal for the entire week. We also adapt our meals to what is on sale. Taking a few moments to review the local flyers will help you shop and meal plan around the sales. Some places like Walmart even price match.
The money that we have saved doing this is well worth the time and investment.
Don’t forget to bring your grocery list with you and purchase only what is on it. This will avoid the temptations of loading up your grocery cart with items that you do not need.
Experience has also taught us to never shop on an empty stomach! This will cause mindless shopping in our opinion. Make sure to shop on a full belly to avoid loading up your cart with unhealthy options.
Avoid Purchasing Bottled Water
Our well water is pretty yucky and tastes like salt therefor we can not drink it. For this reason, we need to depend on a water delivery service. The water bottles that this company uses are washed and recycled so we don’t need to worry about using unnecessary amounts of plastic. If you are stuck in our situation with yucky water, consider using a water delivery system.
If your tap water is drinkable, you can consider using a filtration system for higher quality and better tasting H20. When we were still living in the city, this is the method that we were using to ensure that we were getting high quality drinking water.
Before we go out, we always pack up our reusable water bottles and this avoids purchasing water bottles when someone gets thirsty.
Reduce Eating Out
You will be pleased how much money can be saved when reducing the number of times that you eat out. Eating in restaurants can seem convenient at the moment, but you are often consuming extra doses of fat and sodium. It is much healthier to cook at home and you are also significantly reducing costs.
Once we reduced the amount of convenience foods, fast foods, and restaurants, we noticed how much money we saved. Although tempting to eat out at the moment, your body and budget will thank you for home cooked meals.
Don’t Buy Pre-Packaged Items
Pre-packaged foods can be convenient, but they are often a huge money waster in our opinion. We tend to only purchase these items if we are entertaining guests or are in a rush. Pre-packaged foods also tend to spoil faster and often contain preservatives. They also use a lot of unnecessary packaging that is terrible for the environment.
Now you are ready to start eating healthier and reduce your costs! Do you have any tips that you would like to share?