Saturday morning meal planning has always been one of my favorite days of the week, but seeing my receipt total rise week after week had began to terrify me!
Two years ago I was spending $120-160 a week on groceries for TWO adults.
I’ve since cut that IN HALF to around $45-70 per week and you can too!
It’s not about coupons, it’s not about having cash back apps, it’s not about shopping when everything is on sale, although all of those things can be an additional help. Read on for my three tips on how to save on your grocery bill.
Saturday Morning:I'd scroll through Pinterest or my favorite food bloggers websites and pick five of what I thought were the prettiest & tastiest looking meals. I’d hit up my local Whole Foods and walk out spending WAY too much for our little family. After cooking all those gorgeous meals throughout the week, Saturday would come and after my weekly shopping trip I would catch myself throwing away half heads of lettuce, wrinkly halves of bell peppers and all kinds of partially used produce. I was wasting so much food! That’s when I realized something had to change, and with these simple changes, I was suddenly saving a ton of money!
Step 1: Change the way you meal plan
Now, while meal planning, I am conscious of the environment and how much waste I am producing, I want to keep that at a minimum. When Saturday comes, instead of scrolling through and picking all of the prettiest meals, I start by picking one of them, and I use that recipe as my baseline.
For example, if my first recipe calls for ¼ head of cabbage, 2 scallions and half of a bell pepper the next recipes I will be looking for will be recipes with the same ingredients but a completely different flavor tone. Example, I can use cabbage and bell peppers in Mexican food and in Asian food. This way I am using the same ingredients for each dish, without any waste.
When making my list:
I will circle what ingredients from each recipe will not be completely used up and hunt for other recipes with those ingredients.
This way, I'm able to cut back on waste, and ensure that everything we purchase is used up entirely. My grocery lists went from being 35+ items to sometimes only being ten! YES, this takes some adjustment and more time than some of you have, that is why one of my favorite things on this blog is to provide you with a meal plan that does exactly this. So you can just print the list, take inventory to see if you already have some of these things left over, cross them off, and head out to do your shopping.
Step 2: Storing your produce properly
Keep your produce dry!
Line your produce drawers with paper towels and change them out weekly. When you come home from shopping and you’re putting produce away, remove things like cilantro, parsley, lettuce, and green onions from the bags, rinse them and shake excess water, roll them up tightly in paper towels, then place the produce bag back over them, and place them in your produce drawer.
By doing this I can make green leafy items last two weeks or more. This way if I do end up with left over produce I can check my fridge first and cross off what I already have.
I have a ton of tips on how to grow your own produce at home without a garden but that is for another time. I can assure you this little trick alone will have you buying less and throwing out less waste.
Step #3: Eat less meat
Yes, I said it.
We eat meat about 2x a week in our house and when we do it’s shrimp or chicken. Try going vegetarian a few times a week, when you get comfortable with that try a couple of more days.
Replace meat proteins with eggs, plants, nuts, and powder. You’ll feel better and your bank account will thank you! You’d be surprised how much of your grocery bill comes from meats if you’re eating it 5x a week. For example, a package of chicken thighs can run from $4-8 per package depending on size, if you’re buying chicken for five meals that’s $20-40 a week. Imagine cutting out $40 from your bill with just that one simple change. You’ll cut out even more if you follow the first two! Update: We no longer eat any meat at home except for shrimp, and we are saving even MORE $$!!
What will you do with your extra savings?
Get a gym pass? Go on a hot date night with your significant other? Spoil yourself?
Let’s hear it in the comments!