“Success is the natural consequence of applying the fundamentals.”
Have you ever had this experience?
Every time you’re grocery shopping, one of two things happens at the register:
You can’t believe how much you spent….
You can’t believe how LITTLE you spent!
Let me tell you, the first thing used to happen to me all the time.
And not just at the “health food” store – it would happen at any grocery store I shopped in.
Because I didn’t have the strategies or the knowledge I now have – I would spend too much on food, then eat out and spend even MORE!
These days, the second statement is true for me now, and I’d like to make it true for you.
These days, I almost never have any doctor bills or sick days. I spend less on food monthly than what it costs to have a car payment, insurance, gas and repairs – and my body is a far more precious vehicle than any car!
Food costs will of course vary depending on where you live and where you shop – I live in a city and shop at the store that’s easy to get to on my scooter, so you may be able to save even more – especially if you’re a family, or are shopping for more than one person.
Regardless of where you shop, everything I have ever learned about food, nutrition and the body has shown me that the MOST direct way to affect the long-term outcome of our health, reduce health care costs and live long, healthy lives free of disease comes from what we eat.
I want you to be able to say, “My body is the healthiest and fittest it has ever been!” and
“I feel like it’s getting younger instead of older!” and “I hardly ever get sick!”
I want YOU to be able to walk out of the store and feel great about the food you’re eating all week long.
I want you to know that what you’re eating is supporting every healthy body function you have going on – and that you can count on your insides working for you long-term – no matter what life throws your way.
I want you to know that the money you spend on quality food is actually saving you money long-term. With that in mind, here are my…
Top 10 Money-Saving Quality Eating Strategies:
1. Have a plan.
Having a plan is key in not overspending. This plan as also know as….a Grocery List! Make one from the recipes you choose.
This is literally the simplest thing, but for some reason I found myself skipping this step time and time again. It wasn’t until I had literally burned myself out (adrenal fatigue) over training and not eating right that I was forced to re-evaluate my choices and start from scratch.
It might feel like “work” to sit down and look up some recipes and make a list of the food you want to buy, plus cook…but it’s the most important and rewarding work we can do for ourselves, for our health and for our longevity.
Not to mention, having a plan saves so much money. When I stopped randomly ordering food, picking up meals to go and shopping for groceries aimlessly, I had more money in my pocket for other things that were important and enjoyable.
For some help with making your grocery list and picking good meals for the week ahead, try one of my meal plans!
2. Choose recipes you want to make for the week that have corresponding ingredients.
Collect recipes that you like. You might see a recipe on Facebook that you like, or an instagram post that sounds awesome.
Start keeping a recipe log in a note application in your phone, because you can come up with a list easily based on the recipes and refer back to your favorites over and over.
When you’re coming up with your money-saving plan, it’s really helpful to choose recipes that have ingredients that line up so you can buy less items. When I’m planning my week, I choose a couple entrees that could share some of the same vegetables or have similar spices for example. Same thing with my smoothies.
The Body Fuel System was actually designed this way because it was exactly how I was eating and was how I made my life easier. Once I had picked out the best recipes for the week for my breakfasts, entrees, smoothies and snacks, I’d just build my grocery list around the recipes. Sometimes I’d change ingredients in a recipe to be more cost effective so I could buy less ingredients but still enjoy a good variety of foods.
3. Organize your list for easy shopping and stick to it!
Organize your list by category so you can whip through the store: i.e. Greens and Veggies, Meats and Protein, Grains, Seeds and Nuts, Pantry Items.
Having the list and organizing it like this helps keep you away from the aisles or areas where things are stored that feel tempting. Food companies spend thousands of dollars testing their packaging, catchphrases and marketing so you’ll want to buy things you don’t need. Stick to your list!
4. Always look for VALUE:
…and to me, that’s what is in season, what is the best deal, and what I can afford. Even though it’s nice to buy organic as much as possible, sometimes the better value is found in local, non-organic produce.
Check to see if the fruit looks better – and support your local farmer whenever possible!
****An important note on buying organic – remember that most conventional grocery stores are going to mark up the price on organic items because they are NOT buying them in as large a quantity as a health food often store can. Sometimes you’ll get a better deal on the organic stuff by shopping somewhere that gets a large supply.*****
5. Make simple substitutions to your recipes to accommodate seasonal items.
If you wanted strawberries for example, but it’s winter, get some pears or apples and get creative.
It is always healthier for our bodies to eat the seasonal food – as the nutrient content is much higher.
6. Speaking of higher nutrient content, I do highly recommend you buy organic eggs.
Organic eggs contain much more absorbable nutrients, they’ll minimize your exposure to antibiotics, synthetic hormones and pesticides – as well as delivering more protein. I get the extra large.
7. Buy some items frozen.
While getting fresh is awesome if you have the funds, there are always benefits to buying frozen. I often find great deals on wild-caught frozen fish, and of course the nice thing about frozen is that it’s definitely not going to go bad if you don’t have time to cook it right away.
In the winter, I also buy some of the fruit I love frozen to have on hand for green smoothies.
8. Buy specialty items like nuts in bulk when possible.
Sometimes going to a grocery store like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or a natural grocer that has a bulk section will really save you money by taking advantage of this feature.
You can also get great deals on flour, seeds, rice, honey, nut butter and dried fruit by buying these things in bulk.
This keeps you on point, and ensures nothing goes to waste. I choose entrees, staple carbs and usually one easy snack.
While I sometimes do prep as I go through the week, I often try to prep at least 2 staple carbs, 1-2 protein or entree dishes, and at least one snack. This saves me a lot of time later and ensures I’m making the most of my savings by not skipping that food in my fridge!
10. Never shop when you’re hungry 🙂
I bet this is a no-brainer to you, but it happens sometimes. I always make a point of getting something I can eat at the store before I shop, if I get there hungry.
Shopping while I’m anxious always throws me off my game. As long as I’m not hungry, my favorite thing to do is get a foamy almond latte (with a sprinkle of cinnamon) and walk around sipping it.
For some reason, it makes grocery shopping feel like less of a chore, and more of something special and fun – as it should!
What are YOUR best money-saving strategies when it comes to food? And what items do you always insist on buying organic?
So there you have it – having a plan to follow helps me stay on point while I’m grocery shopping and save money, helps me stay balanced with my meals all week, helps me save money NOT going out to eat every day, and allows me to see the direct results on my body – in how it looks and feels.
For a meal plan that gives you room for balance and whole food eating the right nutrients to support your healthy body, try one of mine - each meal plan comes with gluten and dairy free recipes, Vegetarian options, grocery lists, daily menus and prep options!