This is my third post in the Frugal Fitness Challenge series. If you missed the first post on fitness or the second post on nutrition, check those out! This week I want to focus on ways that you can save money on your grocery bill. While this may not seem directly related to fitness, it is certainly a large part of healthy, frugal living. It is possible to eat healthy and save money without buying all organic foods or living solely off of ramen noodles. Here are a few money saving tips to keep in mind as you shop for the nutritious foods that I discussed in last week’s post.
- Budget: Have a specific grocery budget for the week and stick to it. One great way to do this is by shopping with cash.
- Coupons: Check the Sunday paper or your local grocery store website for this week’s deals. Check out Couponsuzy.com or CouponMom.com both sites feature printable coupon deals organized by region.
- Buy In Season: Buy fruits and vegetables that are in season, they are cheaper and a lot fresher. Try going to a farmer’s market, you can find good deals and the produce is fresh! Or, support a local farm by joining your local CSA.
- Make A List: Set aside some time each week to plan out your meals and make a specific grocery list. Try to base your meals on what is in-season, on sale, and what you already have on hand. Then organize your list according to the layout of the grocery store, you’ll save time and money by avoiding impulse buys!
- Going Organic: It can be hard to buy organic on a small budget. You may not be able to buy everything organic, but you can be more conscious about where you get your food. Check out your local co-op, join a CSA, or go to a farmer’s market. Or, try out one of my personal favorites Trader Joe’s that features tons of organic food and products at lower prices.
- Buy Less Meat: Meat is often very expensive. Try cutting down on your meat consumption by eating vegetarian for most meals. If you find a good deal on a large amount of meat, re-portion it into individual servings and freeze it for later use.
- Store Brands: Don’t neglect the generic store brands, often they are the same product as the name brands. Sometimes the store brands even offer organic or all-natural options!
- Avoid Prepackaged Foods: They may be convenient but they really add up. Instead of buying prepackaged cookies, why not make your own?
- Check Unit Pricing: One of the best tips for finding a good deal is to check the unit pricing on items. This will quickly help you find the best deal.
- Watch the Scanner: This will help you keep track of costs, make sure your coupons actually went through and it will keep the cashier more alert.
- Limit Your Trips: Make fewer, larger trips. While shopping around can be very good, it can cost a lot in time and gas. Check out what you can get for the best price at different grocery stores in your area and make trips once a month to those stores for specific items.
Join the Conversation: What tips do you have for saving money on your grocery bill?