Adventures with Groceries

 food

There are two people and a rabbit in my house and I really didn’t think we spent a lot on groceries until I began looking at other peoples’ budgets a few years ago. You know the budgets I’m talking about the ones in which a family of four ate well spending less than I did on 2 people. I did a weekly shop based on the sales so I was clearly saving money, right?

Yes and no – I was paying less than full price for things but was often spending my entire budget on food stuff I wouldn’t use for quite some time or were fun. I would go over my grocery budget but because it was all on ‘good stuff’ or was helping my  baking addiction I would justify the expenses.

Over the course of the last year I started actually staying within my budget and I’ve gotten even better since I started to blog. Starting last month I cut my monthly grocery budget by $50, not a lot of money weekly but enough that I began to realize how far my dollars can go when I changed my focus.

Here are some things I learnt:

  • It isn’t more expensive to eat healthy when you were buying cheap but not filling’ junk’ food
  • Flyers are no longer my best friends – a lot of the sale food is highly processed. I still go through them and price check to ensure I’m getting good deals
  • I don’t need a freezer full of food to eat healthy (pet peeve: the number of people who highly recommend that I cook loads and freeze it. For some reason this doesn’t work for me.)
  • I don’t live in an area with a lot of coupons so  I was pleasantly surprised to realize that this didn’t break the bank
  • I’ve always loved leftovers. Growing up we didn’t call them leftovers it was a case of mum or dad made something and the family ate it until it was finished. Occasionally they would freeze portions. Generally I can eat the same thing for lunch and dinner.
  • I still hate menu planning but I understand it’s purpose. Even a rough menu keeps me on track.
  • Make it with less. I grew up in a home with highly seasoned food which is what I want. My mum taught me how to get gourmet flavour without breaking the bank. She always focuses on a few key spices/seasonings and allows them to shine. The money this woman has saved me by advising the ingredients that can be left out without sacrificing taste is remarkable.
  • You do need time to cook but there are an array of recipes that take less than 30 minutes that pack healthy punch.
  • Healthy does not have to mean boring.

Photo courtesy of KEKO64 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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10 thoughts on “Adventures with Groceries

  1. so true! and i don’t care for the flyers for the same reason. i just check out the meat, dairy, deli, and fresh fruit and veggies. but they still sneak in those processed foods! and i get tired of basing my diet to what’s on sale all the time. what are your core spices?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve a friend who makes up his own dry rubs for taco, jerk, poultry and general seasoning and gives them to me. I’ll see if he’ll let me share the recipes. I season everything! I put taco seasoning in with water to boil my rice :). I also grew up with West Indian green seasoning which I use on a lot of my meat. Thank you for a great idea for another post!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. One of your best points is “eating healthy” does not have to be more expensive than eating junk food. Postings like this will put reality in perspective for your readers. This will help change mindsets in a better direction. Great job!

    Please accept my apology for my recent MIA status. My mother recently passed and I am helping my father through the process. My writings and comments will be spotty until the beginning of October. I did not want you to think I have abandoned your site. Keep up the great writing!!

    Like

  3. I feel your pain! I can’t do the coupon thing since my husband is allergic to meat and lactose intolerant, so the vegan stuff we like with a coupon is still $4-$5 a thing. I am actually thinking of upping our monthly budget by a little bit because some of the produce here in Oklahoma has gone up in price, and because winter is coming so that means it will only get more pricey.

    The only time I look at the flyers is for the produce, bulk sections, and frozen goods. I will glance at the dairy section hoping for a sale on non-dairy items. Plant based on a budget….so much fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your advice is a gift to those of us (definitely me) who struggle with economics and who need to reset our shopping experiences so that we are following basic objectives. You are self aware and open to sharing what is working for you and what you want to conquer. As I have said before I am following you to learn more.

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