As a mom, you have definitely been in those predicaments where you buy $400+ of groceries so your family has everything they need for the next month or so – if they make it that long – and then buy Chick-Fil-A on the way home because you are exhausted.
Full transparency, I do it from time to time too. However, I’ve gotten strategic and lessened the fast-food stops after my body started yelling at me. The headaches, the sleepiness, the lack of energy, and the film on my tongue after these moments of convenience are not worth it. If that’s what I feel I wonder about all the things happening inside my body that I cannot distinctly feel. Inflammation is surely one of them.
The average American household spends an average of $1200 per person per year on fast food. A family of four winds up spending nearly $90k on fast food over the course of 18 years. I would venture to say those numbers are conservative. That could put both kids through 4 years of community college.
Additionally, households spend roughly $4,644 per year on groceries. Altogether, American households spend an estimated $10k on food every single year! We don’t realize how quickly a few $2 to $5 items add up.
You need a simple, practical guide to spending less on your eating habits. Keep reading. You’re welcome!
1. Meal Prep
For the longest time I hated these words, but keeping a clear vision of what you are going to eat helps you keep your trip to the grocery store intentional, without frivolous buys.
This doesn’t need to take a ton of time. Chop up onions, veggies and keep them in airtight containers ahead of time. You can set aside an hour or two to put meats and produce in baggies so all you have to do before mealtime is dump the meals from the containers to the pan, add some seasonings, then eat. Meal prepping sharpens your grocery list and saves you precious time, money, and energy.
2. Identify Money Wasters
What conveniences are you paying for? There is little-to-no point in buying a $7 pack of paper towels every couple of weeks when you can buy washable hand towels once every ten years for roughly $10. You do not need to buy pre-made foods like rotisserie chickens, sugary snacks, and sauces that you can easily make yourself for pennies on the dollar.
I stopped paying $15 to $20 every month for detergent. Once my kids started doing their own laundry, I found myself buying almost double the detergent in half the time. When asked to clean their rooms, they suddenly wanted to wash every item of clothing they owned instead of putting them away. How convenient. I began making my own detergent that smells undeniably better than our previous brands of choice, lasts half the year, and does not even cost an eighth of what we were paying before. It takes 5 minutes to whip up. We went from paying at least $500 per year to roughly $15 per year on detergent. Convenience is expensive.
3. Shop Smarter
When in the store, shop the outskirts first. You will find fresher produce and meats along the outskirts of the store. If you’re shopping somewhere like Kroger, the “Nutrition” section is probably useless to your budget and body. Often, the prepackaged “healthy” stuff is just as bad as the box of Oreos, with the same cancer-causing or straight-up disgusting ingredients craftily cloaked inside.
Avoid the promo displays like the plague. Endcaps – the shelves at the end of every aisle – and giant cardboard displays are a game of psychology these food companies win with ease simply because their consumers are unaware of the game altogether. It’s always easy to win when you keep the rules to yourself, right?
In my grocery store tour, I delve into more money-saving hacks, the psychology behind the setup of every prominent grocery store, and teach you how to decipher the gibberish listed in the ingredients. For example, you will be able to identify the 200+ names of sugar, and the fake vitamins that are putting your health at risk. When you purchase my mini-course, you may even find a DIY-in-5 recipe or two because we love gifts over here!
What are some tips you use to save money on food? Let me know in the comments below!