This is something I will constantly be learning. Every month I learn a new tip, seasons change, stores stop carrying a product, I discover something new and exciting, whatever it may be! So stay tuned and learn with me!
There are quite a few blog posts out there about shopping on a budget. But one more plant-based perspective is always a good thing, right?
Buying and eating large amounts of produce can come with a daunting price tag. Especially if trying to keep your groceries locally sourced and organic! But there are ways to do it that make it really doable. And I live this out everyday. I can keep our family of four fed for $500 a month. That may sound like a lot, or not a lot, depending on who you are. But when I tell you that we don’t eat meat or dairy and that we buy as much locally sourced organic produce as we can, that will set the preface.
For now, here are some of my favorite tips.
- Find your people! Your local co-op! I have finally realized the importance of having my own co-op and being a member. Every little discount adds up (learn how to stack discounts at your local foods co-op by talking to the team there!) For example, member discount + sales + case discounts (if buying in quantity) = awesome.
- Shop the sales, but limit trips to the store. If I need to hop around a little to find the best price, I definitely will do that. But the less trips to the store we make, the less we spend. If you forgot to get it, try to do without. Taking a second trip to the store could result in buying more items you don’t need. Do without, or substitute with something new!
- Meal planning and food prep. Some people love shopping for recipe ingredients, especially if you meal plan based off of recipes. I do meal plan, It saves me time and worry, and makes sure everyone is fed. It’s so important for me. That being said, we eat so simply, my meal plan is extremely basic. Stay tuned, I’ll write on how I meal plan on this blog very soon. Having containers of already cut fruit and vegetables for the day is essential to my family’s sanity when snack attacks occur. As is having tubs of prepared beans or grains ready to toss together for a quick meal on the go.
- Need to eat out? Head to the grocery store. This is perhaps one of my favorite things we do. We don’t really have the budget right now for eating out as a family. But we still find ourselves crazy and on the go like most everyone. So what’s the answer? Wait till we get home. Well, that’s not always possible, lets be real. I’m hungry NOW. So to the grocery store we head! Grab a grocery bag of fruit and vegetables and enjoy on the go. Usually we can exit the store for under $20 which is less than what we’d probably spend feeding our family at a restaurant or getting takeout. Nature is smart, people. That’s real fast food.
- Two words. Farmers Markets. Enough said! Last week I walked away with four grocery bags FULL of produce for $11. Farmers Markets are where its at, when they’re in season.
- Hail the Costco Haul! Costco usually has decent prices on produce and good whole organic foods and household products. Love me a good Costco haul, as long as it’s in the budget. The thing with Costco is that I have to plan it out, and not be tempted by everything else in the store that’s NOT on my list that month. But we all struggle with that, right? I mean, Costco is like going to the fair. And the samples are delicious.
- Find overstock grocery warehouse sales where you can buy boxes of produce that needs to be eaten and put to use right away. Freeze it if you have to, works great in prepping smoothie packs for the week! And you’re also cutting down on wastefulness! Yay for you!
- Don’t obsess over it. Obsessing over food and meal planning and meal prepping can be easy to do for nutrition focused mamas. Am I right? Calm down, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Rally together as a household to make sure you all are getting what you need, and call it good.
- EAT MORE SIMPLY. This has changed the way we think about budgeting for food. Sure I do need to browse pinterest for new recipes sometimes. It’s very fun and inspiring. But largely, when you eat to live and you enjoy the foods that are nourishing your body, you don’t need anything elaborate that takes 7 other ingredients to make that you don’t have on hand. So during the week, I keep things basic! In our home we do lots of smoothies, salads, grain green and bean bowls, keeping the spices basic but delicious, and on the weekend we can elaborate. It works for us.
I could probably talk about this topic for hours. I’m very passionate about it, and feel like its a joy to keep learning. I think fruits and vegetables should be more affordable, accessible to people with lower incomes, and I’m passionate about finding ways to do that for my family. I can’t wait to learn and share even more!
What works for you? Have any tips you are loving right now for plant based on a budget?