Alas, we've come to the money sinking elephant in the room. Grocery Shopping.
Everyone says buying groceries and cooking at home is the #1 Best Step to take if you're trying to save money on food. But if you're not careful, you could find yourself spending just as much, if not more, in one month on groceries than you did eating out. To tame your grocery budget you've got to be smart about what you buy and when you buy it.
This post is specifically about what to buy when shopping. If you'd like to see a post about what to cook or time saving meal prep strategies, comment below or ask me on twitter.
Buy: Grain or Starch
(source) Each grocery trip should feature one to two grain/starch staples. Ex: pasta, rice, potatoes. These are cheap options that ground your meals and provide you with energy. Buy these in a quantity large enough for four meals or more for maximum savings.
Pass: Ready-To-Eat Meals
Freezer main dishes and microwavable meals may look like a steal when they ring up for $5, but they often aren't a full meal. Invest your money in raw foods that contribute to multiple recipes. These are best bought a few times a month.
Buy: Onions and Veggies
Onions are the universal flavor booster. Buy a few, quarter, slice, dice them, and keep them in your freezer. They'll come in handy.
Your money goes makes bigger meals when you buy fresh foods like bell peppers, mushrooms (don't get crazy), kale and spinach. Pick fresh foods that can make a variety of dishes so you don't get boxed in.
Pass: Dairy Milk
I have a milk allergy, so I don't often look at the price tag for dairy milk. But a few weeks ago in Target I accidentally grabbed one of the cartons and I was shook. If you're looking to save on groceries, invest in almond milk. You can run 50 cents cheaper than dairy or soy milk.
Tip: Have a Go-To Budget Saver
The typical list of super-cheap-trash-foods to buy when saving money includes hot dogs, Ramen, beans and rice packets, rice sides, and easy mac. Honestly, a full diet of this stuff is a petition for a heart attack. You can, however, save yourself anxiety by having one super cheap industrial dinner in mind as your backup when you're short on time or cash and need food around the house.
Time flies when you're saving money y'all. It's the second to last post in my Stop Starving series. If you'd like more help on how to eat and eat well with no money, let me know! Comment below with the topics you'd like to see me tackle next.