Hi, everyone. It’s Kat here. My sister and I were pretty blessed to never have to worry about food and shelter until we hit our 20’s. However, one thing that stuck by me through years of growing up was my mom reminding me to “spend my money wisely” whenever I get some. Not once did she tell me to do this or that; she just trusted me to think and act wisely when it comes to spending. I believe I did well throughout my teenage years and a couple of years into my 20’s (I am 24 now). I remember being able to shop every week (or at least every other week) for new clothing and never skimped on buying food. I didn’t have money issues even when I bought my first car and was paying on it monthly including the fees needed to maintain it (gas, insurance, oil change, etc.) But then, adulthood hits. I moved out of my parent’s home and started my own journey.
I’ve heard about the “college student diet” where you just eat a lot of Ramen noodles and thank God I never had to go through it– but, I do remember a period of time where my fridge was filled with dollar store stuff and refined food because it was the only thing I could afford…or so I thought. I was not liking it as I’ve eaten clean before but it was a compromise I was willing to make considering we only had one income coming in the household. Until one day, my hormones were just messed up. I was spotting for almost the whole month and that’s when my husband and I decided to clean up our act and prioritize the importance of feeding your body good food. I worked on a budget and there was a lot of trial and error but now I am happy I’ve got this grocery thing packed down. 🙂
So how can you save money on groceries while still eating good, nutritious food? Here are 7 tips that have been tested and proven by yours truly:
- List out the things you NEED (home staples) – Things that you know you use regularly! These things include: toilet paper, home-cleaning supplies, and foods that you know you consume a lot (i.e: rice, fruits, certain veggies, milk, etc.)
- Plan out the meals you would like to prepare for the month – this takes some patience and a lot of thinking but it is super worth it! A few days before the month ends, I sit myself down and plan out what I want to cook everyday for the whole month. It’s definitely easier when you follow a meal plan that doesn’t require you cooking different things everyday but since I am a housewife right now, I have a lot of time in my hands and I am taking this opportunity to widen my range of cooking. Not to mention, I LOOOVE feeding my husband good food and a variety of it 😉
- Check your local 99 cents store first! – You will be amazed at what you can find at the dollar store! Go with your list and check out each aisle. Personally, I grab some of the staples I have here like toilet paper, hand soap, body soap (I found this natural vegetable soap there–amazing!), tooth paste, beans, and the list go on.
- Make use of rewards/discount cards – Now I’m sure not every grocery store has a rewards card but check your store if they do because it is definitely worth it. I shop at Ralph’s and you can get a rewards card for free which saves me a lot of money right away since most of their items have “member” prices (lower than the regular price). You may think at first that saving a few cents won’t matter but once everything is rang through, those cents are added up to dollars! I save AT LEAST 20 dollars every time I do my bi-weekly shopping.
- Make use of coupons – This is a gem that I truly love. Crazy how I only started this when the year began; but, since I started doing this, I never looked back! I thought I was already winning by using the rewards card. I won even more by making use of the coupons! Ralphs have digital coupons online that I can easily download to my rewards card and my favorite coupon is the one that takes $5-$10 dollars off your bill (depending on your total amount) . My heart smiles each time I see the savings lol
- Watch out and take advantage of the sale – Guys, with the above tips mentioned, I already thought I was really winning. Until I noticed some items are even cheaper on special days aka sale days! I used to spend about $75-$100 on chicken alone each month but once I found out they go on sale–I schedule my grocery day to coordinate with it! This month alone, I spent $45 on chicken for the WHOLE month. And trust me, we eat a LOT of chicken in this household.
- Buy in bulk when you can – you won’t just save money when you do this tip. You will also save time! Not to mention, save more on those hefty taxes (hoorah for living in LA). I don’t know about you, but there’s something that irks me whenever I go to the store on a regular to purchase the same thing over and over again. I think of the effort and the tax I pay on it vs the time and money saved when I buy items I know I use a lot in bulk.
Eating healthy and staying on the budget is possible! 🙂 If you guys have any other ways to save money, please feel free to share! I’d love to add some to my list!
Also, for more fitness related posts, easy home-made recipes and much more, visit my own site: KatrinaJeanCarter.wordpress.com
Note: Featured image is from: http://www.healthy-organics.com.au