Money-Saving Food Hacks For Grocery Shopping To Stay Skinny This Summer 2017
The latte effect
Have we all heard of the latte effect?
Essentially, if you get a latte every workday, by the time you retire and taking into account inflation and compounding interest you would have a zillion dollars or something.
You can tell I zoned out on the specifics, but it’s the same principal.
As important as our big financial decisions to rent or buy a car, to pay off student loans or credit cards first, the daily or weekly decisions we make about what food we choose to purchase are important.
We can use our money more efficiently to get nutritional, healthy and good tasting food.
In addition, if you were to save the money you don’t waste on food, it could easily add up to the cute pair of the Gucci rubber slides you have been coveting for months.
Stack the deck in your favor
When we fail to plan, we fail to plan.
Seriously think about it, how often have you gotten home from a long day of work and either ate nothing but junk or went to the grocery store ravenous and threw random things in the cart without any thought?
It happens all the time, but it doesn’t need to any longer.
Here are some simple strategies to help you save money, stay skinny, and spend less time at the grocery store this summer.
Must-have pantry basics
Make a list of nonperishable food you always need in your kitchen.
I recommend pantry basics such as
- dried beans
- frozen chicken
- canned tuna
- canned tomatoes
- nut milk
- olive oil
Feel free to make your own, or use mine as a template.
This way you have enough to work with if you get home from a business trip and don’t have a chance to go shopping, you are fine until you can make a quick run.
Fresh summer produce, poultry, and fish
Having a mental list of 10 items or so to get from the grocery store will make shopping more efficient and get you a fast pass out of the store with the rest of the humanity on a Sunday night.
These items are fresh and in season for summer. You can make so many great meals with these essential ingredients.
- Rotisserie chicken $9.99
- Freshly caught salmon $14.99
- Spaghetti squash $8.99
- Kale $3.99
- Spinach $5.99
- Greek yogurt $7.29
- Blackberries $4.99
- Strawberries $5.49
- Eggs $4.39
- Asparagus $4.99
Total $71.10 per Fresh Direct on 06/08/2017
With these 10 seasonal items, plus the staples I keep at home, I can have enough meals to make for the week so that I can focus on getting all my laundry washed, getting a handle on the upcoming week and sorting through my gigantic pile of mail on Sundays.
Giving a little bit of thought as to what you will eat for the next day or even couple of days will enable you to eat healthier, save money and make tastier meals in the kitchen.
Sunday afternoon is a good time to sit down with your calendar and see what is going on and what you need to plan for. Taking the time to plan and prepare is key.
You do not want to be caught feeling ‘hangry’ running into an expensive health food store—next thing you know you spent $95 dollars on prepared food, artisanal nut butter from Chile and trendy high protein ice cream.
Breakfast; a rather simple meal.
I typically have a few basics as my go to’s in the summer. Lately, I have been obsessed with Greek yogurt, local berries, and a little nut butter.
I was also recently turned on to soy pancakes, which I make in advance on the weekend and can be frozen rather easily.
As long as you eat something healthy, breakfast can be leftover chicken from the night before and an orange.
The concept of “breakfast foods” is over—eat whatever you want to in the morning.
Take a left over protein, put it over vegetables, throw in a little salad dressing and voilà— a figure and wallet-friendly meal.
Also, you won’t’ be fighting to use the microwave at work.
Take the protein and vegetables you have already cooked on the Sunday meal plan/cook up and repurpose it.
Throw in a low carb vegetable, I like broccoli or spaghetti squash.
Use the Rotisserie chicken as fajitas, or chicken salad. There are tons of ways to use a chicken in a healthy and economical way.
Make a big salad, use lots of vegetables, make your own dressing and chew your food slower.
Money-saving tips for the grocery store
Couponing doesn’t require you to sit and clip for hours with scissors anymore.
You can either print them out, do a screen grab on your smartphone or load them onto a store loyalty card so you don’t even have to remember to bring them with you.
(2) Do your own slicing and dicing
Prepackaged and single-serving foods are easy markup territory.
(Example: Through New York City’s Fresh Direct delivery service, I found a cut and cored pineapple cost $5.99 while an uncut pineapple cost $3.99.)
Though it may be more time-consuming, buy the whole chicken, block of cheese or pineapple and do the chopping yourself.
You can create your own smaller servings for work or after the gym by dividing up the food into baggies or Tupperware.
(3) Buy seafood frozen
At the counter, you’ll find products labeled “previously frozen” in small type.
That product is often the same thing you can find in the frozen-food aisle for as much as 40% less.
Buy frozen and do the thawing yourself. Your fish will be fresher and you won’t have to use it right away.
(4) Sunday food funday
You will be able to make a significant change in your health and your bank balance by taking a little time to plan ahead.
I strongly recommend a Sunday afternoon batch cook to prepare for the upcoming week.
Blast a little music, have fun, sit back and enjoy your prepped food during the week.
Watch your waistline slim and your bank balance grow.
Remember, small changes add up quickly to big results.
Wouldn’t you rather bring your own lunch to work, be healthier and have the Gucci Slides??
I know I would
Keep an eye out on Dope & Broke for my Money-Saving Hacks for Exercise post next week.
I will be going over the best way to get a kickass workout, without taking a giant hit to your wallet.
Later on in July, I will talk about the most effective ways to save money and your waistline when it comes to dining out and ordering in.
In the meantime, feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or ideas for additional blogs.