First, I want to thank Tiffany for giving me the awesome opportunity to come and spread the word on shopping. We all love to shop, but we donʼt always love the part when we have to take our debit card out at the end! So Thanks Tiffany for letting me chat today!
I used to think that the crazy couponing was a just that, a craze. But since itʼs been a few years now and I still see women chugging through the aisles with their 3 ring binders and their calculators, I think couponing is here to stay.
Not that itʼs a bad thing, if you are one of those women that can walk out of the store with $100 worth of things for just $15, then I salute you.
Hereʼs the issue that I do have with it though, how often do you see coupons for healthy products? Not often. As a vegan wife that tries to give her family the best, couponing simply seems out of the question for me. With that said, I havenʼt given up on saving as much money as possible. I have learned a few tricks of my own over the years to keep my grocery bill from giving me a heart attack at the checkout.
Tips To Eating Clean Without Cleaning Out Your Bank Account
Buy local. We have a few grocery stores that have sections in their produce department for local farmers to debut their harvests. Sometimes there are some great deals, but with the competitive prices of the other companies, a lot of times the selection is jacked up in price, which is backwards in the whole “buy local” theme. So instead take full advantage of your farmers market. It might be during the week, after a long day of work but who cares. You can save a bundle.
In fact, we take just $25 per week to the farmers market and come home having to reorganize our fridge to ﬁnd enough space for all our goodies. Plus, it will introduce you to what is in season and have your kitchen creativity in full swing.
Make a list. I know youʼve heard this before, but seriously do it. I started making a list about 6 months ago and now I kick myself each week for not starting sooner. By creating a list youʼre determining what you need, not want (those things can merge when youʼre in the store). Youʼre also putting together a meal plan for the week. How great it is to come home and know what you are going to make so that it runs much more smoothly and you have no excuse to go grab take out.
Each week, I sit down with my favorite recipes around me and decide what we will have each night. Then I will write down what we need for the recipe that I donʼt already have on hand. At the store, there is no impulse buying. You get in, get what you need and get out of there before doing more harm to your wallet.
Shop around. When I was a kid, I can remember my mom making fun of all the women who would go from store to store to save a few bucks. She would proudly announce “I
donʼt care how much money I would save, I refuse to go bouncing around.” Now looking back, I make fun of her. Why not bounce between stores. If yourʼe in an area where there are several stores lined up then by all means, do not be embarrassed to grab veggies at one place, lunch meat at another and toiletries and another. In fact, that is what I do.
I start off at Trader Joes for some veggies (I know arenʼt at the farmerʼs market) and other odds and ins, then I head 1 block over to Whole Foods where I get our organic milk and yogurts (both for the husband) and almond milk for me. Plus a few other things I know I canʼt ﬁnd else where and their bulk section saves lots of moola. And ﬁnally, I drive across the street to the local store for everything else on my list.
You might thing this takes awhile, but I am done with all my shopping in less than an hour.. again because of the list!
Go Cold. Itʼs great to be able to buy fruits and veggies at the farmerʼs market but what about when the farmerʼs market closes down for the winter? Donʼt be afraid to go frozen.
Frozen foods often contain more vitamins and minerals that the fresh stuff on display because they are frozen soon after harvesting. Most of the fresh stuff in the store was picked before it was ripe, and ripened on the way over from some very far distance. All the while losing itʼs nutritional proﬁle.
Forgo The Fancy Stuff. By fancy I mean things like nutrition bars or granola (which seems to be outrageous). Both of these things can be quickly and easily made at home. I got tired of watching my husband eat $5 worth of granola in 2-3 days, so I started making my own, for $5, I can make an entire liter of granola. I beat him at his own game. Need a recipe: Coconut Granola.
Seriously, making your own stuff doesnʼt have to cut into your busy life, and it will help you save in the long run!
Following these tips have had a huge affect on the money we spend each week and I am conﬁdent that it can help you too. You never know, with the money you save you might be able to go on vacation in a few months, buy a new outﬁt, or get those new running shoes youʼve been looking at.
Taylor Ryan is a personal trainer and the blogger behind Lifting Revolution. Taylor lives in Charleston, SC with her husband where she owns and runs a womenʼs only boot camp. She is passionate about food and that passion has only grown since becoming a vegan less than a year ago.