Here we are at the end of the first week of the Eat Well, Spend Less series already. I shared my menu planning strategy and how we lace together different meals and work to keep the amount of separate items we’re buying for one meal to a minimum. I know you’re all sitting around waiting for some light reading to go along with a warm cinnamon roll this fine Saturday morning, so let’s recap and get you started on your way to eating healthier for less.
Homemade Substitutes for Grocery Staples
My dear friend Aimée shared a plethora of homemade substitutes for grocery staples on Simple Bites. She covered the “wet” category, and I have to tell you my head spun as I scanned over her list. There are so many ways you can save money just by making your own rather than buying the convenience product, and Aimée illustrates this beautifully. Some of my favorites were the different stocks because the concept of making your own is so often looked over.
Homemade Pantry Staples
Katie from GoodLife Eats took on the pantry items that we use everyday but don’t need to be purchasing an extra box, mix or jar of. From homemade spice blends for your spice cabinet to cake and brownie mixes that you can keep on hand for that grab-it-and-go nature, these are essentials that most everyone has purchased at one point or another.
Budget for Lots of Fresh Produce
It’s hard to argue with fresh, whole produce as part of a healthy diet. Mandi shares how she rearranged her grocery budget to make sure they had more money set aside for plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, which currently make up 35-50% of their weekly budget.
Buying in Bulk and Long-Term Food Storage
Tammy from Tammy’s Recipes covered the basics of buying in bulk and long-term food storage. You may wonder what you’re going to do with that massive bag of flour tortillas or a 2-pound container of spinach, but there are ways to make sure you are using everything you buy and making bulk purchasing a frugal option for your family.
When to Splurge, Settle, and Skip
Katie at Kitchen Stewardship shared what she splurges on in her kitchen, where she settles for “good enough,” and what she skips to keep her budget under control. She followed that up by showing us how to reduce the budget when buying those whole foods that can get expensive, especially if you’re looking for organics or pricey oils.
Avoid Expensive Ingredients
Jessica shared how she went from spending $400 a month on groceries for two people to spending only $600 a month for a family of eight by avoiding expensive ingredients. Read about some of her personal price points for food items and how she stocks up when the price is right.
Using Coupons on Healthier Foods
Alyssa showed how to use coupons on healthy options, and she demonstrates one of my favorite tools on several frugal blogs, the coupon database. Her method of couponing is a far cry from the Extreme Couponing you’ll see on TV, and it’s geared towards saving on those healthy options you’re purchasing anyway.
Simple Steps To Get Started Using Coupons
Carrie lays out the basics in getting started with coupons to save on the things your family uses, not just to get a deal and hoard closets full of shampoo and potato chips. She also shares her strategy for shopping at multiple stores to get the best prices and menu planning based on those prices.
This coming week we’ll be sharing meals that help us stay on track with our budget. I’ll be covering a week’s worth of meals and how each one fits and connects together, and I hope you’ll join us as we give you a glimpse into our grocery budgets and our eating habits each week.