Tips for Stretching Your Food Budget
Eating healthy does not mean higher cost. I believe you should spend 80 percent of your food budget on whole foods ( fresh produce) and only 20 percent on processed foods. Most of your grocery shopping should be done on the outer edges of the super market, that is where the perishable and nutrient dense foods are. The center of the store is non perishable foods . Unfortunately most Americans currently do the opposite. Also avoiding the center of the store you will not be as tempted to buy the cookies or chips impulsively since you won't see them.
- Make a menu for the week and then make your grocery list off of the ingredients needed. Many grocery stores have a marked down area. Check to see what gems you can find there. Sometimes I find bananas just right for banana bread or summer squash that will go great in a salad for that night.
- Buy canned foods such as beans and tomatoes when they are on sale and stock up on staples when they are on sale.
- Get back to the basics of cooking – using the bones from a roast chicken to make stock for a pot of soup or make a hearty stew or chili from inexpensive cuts of meat. Many of your childhood favorites are inexpensive homemade dishes. A great example is shepherd's pie, it will feed the family a nutritious meal and is easy to make also low in cost.
- Shop local farmers markets and eat only in season produce. You may be surprised to find out that by going directly to the source you can get amazingly healthy, locally-grown, organic food for less than you can find at your supermarket. This gives you the best of both worlds: food that is grown near to you, cutting down on its carbon footprint and giving you optimal freshness, as well as grown without chemicals, genetically modified seeds, and other potential toxins.
- Buy in bulk when non-perishable items go on sale. Buy by the pound from bins, saving both you and the supplier the cost of expensive packaging. Shop at a discount store like Sam's Club or BJ's .
- Grow your own garden. Now is a great time to start planting your Spring garden. Have your kids help, they will find it rewarding eating the fresh produce that they helped grow.
Do you have any thrifty money saving tips to share? I'd love to hear them