I am horrified at how much food has gone up in price. Sometimes it feels like it’s impossible to lose weight when on a budget. How can I buy all the healthy stuff I need to lose weight? I do believe there are a lot of things we can do to trim the money spent on food and still trim our waistlines. So do not despair.
Buy in bulk
A lot of times it is quite a bit less expensive to buy things in large quantities, making the price per serving much less.
Grow your own
There are many advantages to growing your own food. First you know exactly what you used for fertilizer, how the bugs are taken care of, and there is nothing like the taste of fresh cucumbers and tomatoes.
Shop the sales
Many times you can get items far below the regular price. Try to stock up while something is on sale. By using what you bought on sale you can avoid paying full price for your items. Most of the big grocery stores have case lot sales a couple of times a year as well. Most stores offer generic brands for less money. Sometimes my family doesn’t care for them, but a lot of times they can’t even tell the difference.
Use less meat
Meat is expensive so adding in some meatless meals really can save a lot of money. I have to say that there are a few recipes in this department that my family really enjoys.
Go out to eat less often
I know this can be painful because we live such busy lives, but eating out can cost three or four times what it would cost to cook the same thing at home. You can also pack your own lunch to avoid going out to lunch. It’s also a good idea to take snacks with you when you are leaving the house to keep from getting so hungry you need to go out to eat.
Put some meals in the freezer
Having meals in the freezer makes it easier to resist going out to eat, and making unplanned trips to the grocery store. There are other convenience foods you can add to your freezer like pancakes, muffins, and homemade hot pockets. Check out my post freezer meals to the rescue.
Buy frozen fruits and vegetables
A lot of times frozen fruits and vegetables are less expensive than fresh. Don’t be afraid to use them. They are picked and flash frozen. Stock up on them especially when they are on sale.
Freeze your own stuff
I buy a huge bag of spinach for under four dollars at Costco and freeze it. That way I can use every bit of it in my smoothies before it goes bad. Another way I get to save money is every year my grocery store sells a 25 pound bag of onions for under five bucks. I buy one bag and dice it up and put it in the freezer in small ziplock bags. I have onions all year for very little money.
Shop for produce in season
Fruits and vegetables are less expensive when they are in season. Farmer’s markets are a great place to find fresh food. Sometimes they are very inexpensive. Don’t forget you can flash freeze your own. I like to freeze strawberries and bananas to make smoothies.
Skip the pre-cut veggies
I started buying bags of carrots instead of the convenient baby carrots. I hated having to peel them and fuss over them UNTIL I found out that they taste about 100 times better. I am also saving money. Honestly, the flavor was enough to convince me to skip the baby carrots; the savings was just a bonus.
Make sure you use all the produce you buy
I cannot tell you how many vegetables have gone moldy in my fridge before being used up. I am working on some kind of plan to make sure they all get used. If you have any ideas I’d love to hear them. This is definitely one of my weaknesses.
Buy cheaper cuts of meat
I’ve been buying chicken thighs. I take the skin off. They come on sale quite often for 99 cents a pound. That’s quite a savings.
Don’t shop when you’re hungry
It’s a disaster waiting to happen if I go grocery shopping when I am hungry. It seems like a lot more stuff makes it into my cart. I end up spending a lot more and truth be told I end up bringing stuff home that’s not really that good for me either.
Skip the individual servings
When you buy individual servings like 100 calorie packs you are paying as much for the packaging as you are for the food. If you like the convenience of having small individual servings, get a box of snack size ziplock bags and make your own. You end up getting a whole lot more servings and save money at the same time.
Cook from scratch
Besides saving money when you cook from scratch you know exactly what is in your food. I’ll bet you’ll be able to pronounce every ingredient. I feel a lot better about eating things I can pronounce.
Plan your meals
When you take the time to make a plan for the week and put together a shopping list, you avoid putting a lot of extra stuff in your cart.
Find recipes that call for less expensive ingredients
So is losing weight while on a budget impossible? I don’t think so. I know it takes a little planning and a little work, but it is totally worth it. I’m sure there are many more ways to save money while eating good nutritious food. I hope you’ll take time to share your success stories.
Let’s do this together! We’ve got this!