I have always, always, always been a grocery money cruncher, and to some degree, I think I always will be. I hate spending more than I have to on something which I have to buy over and over again every week.
But after increasing our grocery budget for the Whole30 experiment last month, it got me thinking that maybe it’s worth it.
Maybe it’s better to spend a little more on lean meat and vegetables, than to buy the pasta (though to be fair, we bought things like pasta before because the kids love them so much more than because they’re cheap).
Maybe, I should focus more on saving money in other areas of our life.
I stumbled across this video from Money Saving Mom right as we were starting to increase our grocery spend for the Whole30 and it was really freeing.
When I started, I was afraid of what people would think of me spending more. Imposter! You’ve written so much about cheap groceries, and now this?!
But we’re not really in that season of life anymore. The kids are older, but more than that, we’re intentionally changing our eating habits, and while not buying cheese (for now) definitely offsets some of the other costs, it doesn’t even out.
Not when we were paying $2 a pound or less for meat – including beef.
During the next few weeks, I imagine our grocery spend will fluctuate as we try to figure out our new baseline, but I can tell you one thing – we’ll definitely continue our quest to save money while buying the best food we can – it’s called living well on a budget after all, not putting a strangle hold on your life to save a few bucks!
8 Ways To Save Money Without Compromising Food Quality
Make Your Own Yogurt
This is one of my favorites, only because the kids love yogurt, and it’s so easy to make! We can buy organic milk for about the same price as a (smaller) carton of non-organic yogurt, and not only that, home-fermented yogurt has all the cultures intact the way they’re meant to be!
Buy Frozen Vegetables
This is also a favorite of mine, because frozen vegetables are not only cheaper and healthier, they’re easier to prepare and don’t leave waste because they’re already cut and prepped for you!
Host Thrive Life parties
I got bit by the freeze-dried food bug several months ago, and at first, I thought it was an expensive habit, but the quality of the food is unparalleled, AND it can be super cheap! All it takes is hosting parties. If you’re a consultant, you can host your own parties, and Q customers (or those who want to be) can host parties for their consultants to earn free and half priced food. So cool! I have to admit I wasn’t a fan of home parties before Thrive, but now I love helping my friends – and their friends – save money on good food! (please feel free to email or message me for more information on that!)
Buy Food In Bulk
I realize this is a drum that gets beat a lot, but while buying bulk food costs a lot up front, the per serving cost can be as much as 50% less. One great example of that is when we bought a 25 pound bag of coconut flour – through Amazon of all places! – back in September of 2015 at a cost of $2.20/pound (the price has gone up since then of course). That bag is still going strong! Another example is the time we got together with a bunch of friends to order rice directly from farmers in Missouri. That ended up costing a measly 12 cents per pound.
There are still good deals around!
Make your own nut butters
We recently did a Whole30, which meant peanut butter had to go, so I started looking for good deals on almond butter. No surprise, but that stuff is incredibly expensive! But we quickly realized that we could buy raw almonds for about half the price. It turned out to be awesome, because we got to soak the almonds to make them easier to digest. Double win!
See our recipe for homemade almond butter here.
Make Your Own Mayonnaise
Use light tasting olive oil, and I promise, no one will be the wiser!
And yes, it really does only take two minutes to make!
Make your own salad dressing
Cheap salad dressings aren’t good, and good salad dressing isn’t cheap. Unless you make your own. I love good old buttermilk ranch, made with healthy homemade mayonnaise, and probiotic buttermilk or yogurt, but since kicking diary, we’ve been making Whole30 approved, dairy-free ranch dressing, and it’s the bomb!
Order Meat Through a Co-op
I recently places my first order through Zaycon Fresh, buying a 40 Pound box of boneless, skinless chicken for $1.33/lb. PLUS, when you help out at pickup events, they give you $10 of credit per hour you volunteer. That can add up to some really cheap meat!
This has really been a life saver for me, because my husband does not regulate his meat intake. At all. If I have meat thawing the fridge for dinner, he may cook it up for a snack – the joy, and curse of working from home, eh? So yeah, I have to find ways to make our meat cheaper.
The bottom line is that yes, you do pay for quality, but how much, depends on you!