Hope Wissel

How to Save on Your Grocery Bill

You many not save a BUCKET of money but you will save some.  As the cost of groceries continues to rise, I’m sure you are like us and feeling the pinch.  Meal planning is already stressful for some NOW factor in the soaring cost of food and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Despite the state of the economy (no political comments please), stocking your kitchen pantry to feed yourself and your family is a weekly necessity. So, today, we’re making things easy for you by providing everything you need to know about shopping wisely, getting a good deal, and keeping your expenses low.

5 EASY WAYS TO SAVE BIG ON YOUR GROCERY BILL

1. PLAN YOUR MEALS AND CREATE A GROCERY LIST

Start by taking an inventory of your kitchen before going to the supermarket.   Make note of the things running low or you want to be sure you have a back up for.  You know those things that could cause you to make an extra stop or run to the store because not having them would cause havoc in your household. Take the time to write out a grocery list.  It will help you stick to a budget and avoid overspending by reducing unnecessary purchases.   I keep mine on my phone and as I think of things, I add them to the list.  My meal planning journal is on the fridge.  I usually plan on Saturdays, and shop on Mondays.

2. BROWSE THROUGH FLYERS AND GROCERY STORE WEBSITES

This is a simple but effective way to check for sales, lowest price options, and discounts.  It doesn’t mean you have to always go to multiple stores to get what you need.  I mean with the price of gas, this would be CRAZY, right?  I tend to compare prices, see who has most of the things I want on sale and start there.  Honestly, my two stores are usually Aldi’s and Acme.  So I hit Aldi’s first then stop to Acme on my way home.  Be sure you are part fo your store’s rewards program.  Try using apps like Ibotta or Fetch where you earn money or rewards for the shopping you do every day.  I also use Shopkick to earn discounts. For more rewards tips, see #6.

3. CONSIDER BUYING IN BULK

Not only does this save you more trips to the grocery store, but it’s often more cost- effective too.  If you are shopping at the BULK stores be sure you know what your per item cost usually is.  WHY? If you are not careful, you may end up paying more than you would if you bought multiple items in the grocery store.  Since there are only 2 of us, we don’t do bulk stores BUT I do keep a stocked pantry.  We are prepared for any and all emergencies.

4. EAT MORE PLANT-BASED

Meat now costs nearly 24% more than it did two years ago, and the prices continue to rise. The good news is there are tons of budget-friendly options out there to meet your protein needs. Plant-based proteins like chickpeas, edamame, beans, and tofu are great alternatives. We don’t do tofu since I have never been able to cook it so it tastes good BUT we do do other plant based options.  For more ideas and recipes, be sure to check out this blog post all about plant-based eating!

5. BUY SEASONAL

Out-of-season produce is typically more expensive.  If you have a local community farm, join it. Yes, there is an initial cost BUT in the long run for approximately 12 weeks plus, you will have awesome healthy fresh produce.  Don’t know what is in season?  Doing a fast search before you start planning and/or preparing your meals.  Also, remember to store your produce in air-tight containers, like our Stay With Me Produce Savers, to limit food waste while stretching your dollar!

6. MAKE USE OF LOYALTY PROGRAMS & PRICE-MATCHING APPS

Find a grocery store with a loyalty program so you can get a rebate with every spend. Make a game out of it.. wouldn’t you love to see the savings line at the end of the grocery receipt? Most grocery stores will honor a price match – bring your circular with you from the other store.

7. SHOP YOUR GROCERY STORE BRAND PRODUCTS

They are just as good and often a lot less expensive than name-brand products! Did you know many store brands are made by your favorite “name” brand company?

8. CARVE OUT TIME FOR MEAL PREP AFTER GROCERY SHOPPING

It may take some extra time, but it makes your week so much smoother. Tuna, pasta, quinoa, rice, canned tomatoes, rolled oats, beans, and peanut butter are some of my favorite low-cost pantry staples. When the kitchen is stocked with healthy options, there’s no need to eat out.

9. USE THE FREEZER TO REDUCE FOOD WASTE

Yes, there are only 2 of us in the house.  Yes, I do buy family packs of chicken breasts, then divide and freeze into smaller batches. I buy bulk meat and re-package them into smaller amounts based on our average dinner recipe. Frozen vegetables and fruit are also great when not in season.

What money-saving tips have helped you when grocery shopping? Which new recipes or tips are you most likely to try? Let us know – share them with us.

Have an Epic Day!

Tasty Tuesday Recipes

Tasty Tuesday – Flourless Red Velvet Cake

1/8th of cake: 127 calories, 5g total fat (2g sat fat), 326mg sodium, 23.5g carbs, 4.5g fiber, 6g sugars, 6g protein — SmartPoints™ value 4*

Adios, gluten: This cake is made with chickpeas! And the cream-cheese frosting takes it to the next level…

Prep: 20 minutes    Cook: 40 minutes     Cool: 1 hour

Ingredients:
Frosting
1/4 cup reduced-fat cream cheese
2 tbsp. light whipped butter or light buttery spread (like I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Light       or Brummel & Brown)
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. powdered sugar

Cake
One 15-oz. can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup (about 4 large) egg whites
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/4 cup Truvia spoonable calorie-free sweetener (or another no-calorie granulated sweetener that’s about twice as sweet as sugar; see HG FYI)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. red food coloring (like this all-natural option), or more as needed
1 tbsp. mini (or chopped) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9″ round cake pan with foil, and generously spray with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, combine all frosting ingredients except powdered sugar. With an electric mixer set to medium speed, beat until smooth, 1 – 2 minutes. Continue to beat while gradually adding powdered sugar. Beat until smooth, another 1 – 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate.

Place all cake ingredients except food coloring and chocolate chips in a food processor. Puree until completely smooth and uniform.

Mix in food coloring. Fold in chocolate chips.

Spread mixture into the baking pan, and smooth out the top.

Bake until a toothpick (or knife) inserted into the center comes out mostly clean, 35 – 40 minutes.

Let cool completely, about 1 hour.

Spread the top of the cake with frosting. Refrigerate leftovers.

HG Tip: For easy slicing, first remove the entire cake by lifting it out by the foil lining the pan.

MAKES 8 SERVINGS

HG FYI: Truvia spoonable calorie-free sweetener is about twice as sweet as sugar. If using a no-calorie granulated sweetener that measures cup-for-cup like sugar instead of Truvia, double the amount called for in this recipe.

Thank you Hungry Girl for today’s recipe.  Have a recipe that you want to share?  Fill out the form so we can connect:

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!