Retail food prices are on the rise, but American salaries are not keeping up. With the extra squeeze on your budget, it’s important to make every dollar count in your healthy grocery budget.
Is it possible to save on your groceries? Yes. But is it possible to save over $600 a month without clipping any coupons? …Yes!
To find that $600, we need to do a little soul-searching on where our money goes.
Prepare to be shocked…
Food waste: $242.00 a month
Waste like this accounts for 40% of the money you spend on food:
- Trimmings from food preparation like peeling potatoes.
- Food in the pan that is washed down the disposal.
- Ancient bottles of sauces in the back of your fridge.
- Stale bags and boxes of half-eaten food in the pantry.
- Unfinished portions from meals that are too large.
- Produce that rots in your fridge drawers.
Impulse buys: $200.00 a month
Even with a disciplined grocery list, research shows that 9 out of 10 times, you will make impulse buys, adding at least 1-3 unplanned (unhealthy, and unnecessary) items to your grocery cart.
Eating out: $250.00 a month
The #1 reason we spend money on the drive through is TIME. The average American family blows their healthy grocery budget by spending over $3,000 a year eating out.
(And while you’re eating out, the food in your fridge just gets older– increasing the odds you’ll waste it)
Driving around: $375.00 a month
It costs more than you think to keep your car on the road. You spend $4,500 a year for things like fuel, maintenance, insurance, and depreciation to get to the store…
…and back again for that thing you forgot.
Your time: $300.00+ a month
It can take 30 to 60 minutes just to prepare dinner. At just $10 an hour, that’s costing you $150 to $300 a month to make just one meal.
That’s your valuable time wasted on pure drudgery: shopping, prepping, cooking, cleaning, and scrubbing pots and pans. Your time could be better spent!
Weight gain: $$ spent for every pound
You’re shopping at the grocery store because you want to eat healthier, and lose some weight, too. But the combination of impulse buys, the work of food prep, and wasted time can sabotage your healthy intentions.
Even if you are at a healthy weight, gaining just one extra pound will cause your health care costs go up.
How to save on your groceries– and lose weight, too!
They say that you can’t eat healthy on a budget.
“They” are wrong.
Here’s how to do it…
Step one: get on the WWW
The internet makes it dead easy to stick to your healthy grocery budget.
When you buy online, you’re in total control. Comparison shopping is a breeze with a few quick keystrokes. You can check your cart as you go and delete items that you don’t really need. And, you can add any forgotten items instead of making ~yet another time-sucking trip~ to the grocery store.
Many online stores will also save your grocery list for you, and even auto-deliver your items on your schedule, further simplifying the process when you’re ready to shop again.
You’ll save in these areas: impulse buys, driving around, your time
Step two: simplify like Steve
Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple is famous for wearing a black turtleneck and blue jeans—every day.
Why? He knew that making a bunch of unimportant little decisions takes away from your ability to make more important decisions.
Try boiling your menu down to very simple, healthy foods like this: eggs for breakfast, and meats and veggies for lunch and dinner.
This doesn’t mean you must eat exactly the same things, it’s just some simple principles that answers the nagging question “what’s for ___?” and minimize the decisions you have to make– while shopping and in the kitchen.
Your body was designed to run on simple, healthy, foods; so you’ll lose weight too.
You’ll save in these areas: food waste, impulse buys, your time, weight gain
Step three: get frozen
It may surprise you, but frozen foods retain their nutritional value pretty well; making them a perfect staple for your healthy grocery budget.
With frozen food, waste is eliminated. There’s nothing to spoil, you can dole out an exact serving size, and there isn’t any food prep.
Plus, frozen keeps better than fresh if you have a change of plans.
You’ll save in these areas: food waste, impulse buys, driving around, your time
Step four: nuke it
Just dump your food on a microwavable dish and in 3-4 minutes your meal is ready. (That’s faster than sitting in the drive-thru line!)
Cooking is hands-free– there are no pots to boil over, heating elements to adjust, or constant stirring so things don’t burn.
That means you can do a little multi-tasking while your food heats in the microwave like take out the trash, sign the kid’s field trip form– or kiss your partner.
And also: it’s a huge relief to have zero pots and pans to scrub at the end of your day.
You’ll save in these areas: food waste, your time, eating out, weight gain
Can home meal delivery help your healthy grocery budget?
There’s another option out there too: having meals delivered to you.
Blue Apron, Home Chef, and Hello Fresh promise meals that taste good and are fun to prepare. But they won’t save you in cost, time, food waste, or weight gain.
There is one company that can keep you on a healthy grocery budget, delivering big savings with healthy, pre-cooked, and pre-portioned frozen meals.
Personal Trainer Food focuses on a simple menu of healthy foods with individual servings packed in bistro steamer bags (which means even less meal prep for you).
Here’s what you get in every box:
- Tasty restaurant-quality foods.
- Proven weight loss program.
- Healthy, nutritious flash-frozen foods.
- Simplicity and convenience.
- Zero food prep, zero waste.
- Predictable budget.
Here’s the math on the hard costs feeding yourself:
$604.00 Groceries and eating out
$242.00 Food waste
$200.00 Impulse buys
(And we haven’t even factored in the soft costs of driving your car, your time in the kitchen, and increased medical expenses due to weight gain!)
In contrast, one Personal Trainer Food 28-day meal plan locks down your healthy grocery budget to an average price of $449.
This is how that breaks down:
$449.00 28-Days of food
$000.00 Food waste
$000.00 Impulse buys
$000.00 Eating out
$000.00 Driving around
$000.00 Your time
$000.00 Medical cost due to weight gain
10 Ways to save when you go to the grocery store
Of course you won’t be able to avoid the grocery store completely, but using the strategy above will reduce your trips to a bare minimum.
Here’s how to stick to your healthy grocery budget when you go to the store:
- Compare and shop at stores that offer the best and most consistent prices. Avoiding money traps like Whole Foods can help keep your budget in-check.
- Stock up on sales items that you actually use and can store– not items you might use.
- Sales cycles run about every 12 weeks, so buy enough for 2-3 months when possible.
- Avoid items at eye-level; food manufacturers are paying more for those shelves and passing the price on to you. Look high and low for your best deals.
- Purchase in-store brands. They might wear a different label than the name brand stuff but they’re typically the exact same food with a better price.
- Carefully compare unit prices. To save money, manufacturers are packaging less food in containers that are similar in size to their competitors. A quick check can both save you money and another trip to the store when you run out.
- Buy in-season, locally-grown produce. It’s fresher, tastes better, lasts longer, and costs you less. Frozen foods are much cheaper than out-of-season produce.
- Avoid shopping for single items you forgot. That’s when you’re most likely to add more unplanned items when you check out.
- Curb whimsical cookbook or Pinterest recipes that use food items you don’t normally buy. Chances are you’ll never use the left-over items.
- For every additional minute you spend in the store you’ll spend $2 more. So limit the time you spend there by shopping at non-peak hours, leaving the kids at home, using a grocery list, and making it a point to walk briskly as you shop.
And here’s a way to save even more!
Right now, you can save 40% on any 28-Day meal plan!
Enter SALE40 in the promo code box when you check out. You’ll also enjoy fast, complimentary shipping.
Click here or on the ad below to get started now — and get the RIGHT foods you need for the year of your dreams.
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About the Writer: 100 pounds ago, Jan knew what it is like to be obese, unhappy, and stuck. She has spent the last 15 years as a fitness writer, trainer, yoga teacher, and Weight Loss Coach. Today, she’s proud to be a part of the Personal Trainer Food team so she can continue her goal to help others live their fullest lives possible. Email Jan@PersonalTrainerFood.com if you have any questions!
Applicable on the 28-day meal plan. Valid for orders placed 11:00a 1/12/2018 to 11:59p 1/28/2018 Central Time. Use code SALE40 at checkout to receive offer. May not be combined with other offers.
Weight loss results not guaranteed and are based on various factors. Copyright © 2017 Personal Trainer Food, All rights reserved.