G R O C E R I E S

Groceries

 – a word we all hate for two reasons: The time consumption / crowdedness of a grocery store and how pricy it can get to purchase everything you want. Well, I’m here to give you a hand! This article is for those who still don’t quite know how to budget their groceries

. Luckily, I have a lot of experience with extreme budgeting and eating the bare minimum. But, luckily for you guys and gals, this advice is for those who have a full time job and are living away from home.

I recently moved in with my boyfriend so we have been getting used to double the groceries. I know a lot of you are in that same boat, so this list can be for 1-2 people in your household. If you are trying to save some extra money, cut out the meat on this list. The meat on my list is for my boyfriend because I don’t eat meat. I’m an extremely picky eater so before, when I lived by myself, it was very simple to get by without spending a whole lot on food since I eat like a toddler. But now I am in the real world, living with a normal person who eats normal people foods. Well – let’s go!

The main thing you should cut out immediately is name brands. Name brands will automatically double your budget. So, stop! *

Almost all store brand food tastes the same as name brand. It has the same ingredients too. If you have to splurge on one or two things, that is fine. Do your best to ween yourself off of that though – it’s a terrible habit. With a little seasoning, all name brand food tastes the same as store brand.

Set a budget before going. I have $75 set aside each week for my boyfriend and I. That includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and drinks. Crazy, right?! Think of it this way – if you are used to going out to lunch every work day (Monday thru Friday) at $10/day – that’s already $50/week! It is so much cheaper to pre-make all of your meals and maybe splurge a couple times a month to go out to a nice dinner with your friends or significant other. Also, keep your phone handy while shopping and make a list beforehand. Only buy what you NEED, not what you want. Never go shopping on an empty stomach either and keep your calculator app within reach so you can keep track of your budget while grabbing groceries

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Buying canned and frozen vegetables and fruits in bulk saves you the most money. Be sure to properly store these so they last for a long time. Stocking up on these side dishes is ideal so that when you are food shopping weekly, you have less to buy for a couple months at a time. Rice, potatoes and much more  also come in cheap bulk so stock up like it’s the apocalypse and you will forever thank yourself.

If you are super tight withmoney, try to buy the same items each week. It may seem boring but make that sacrifice to eat the same meals each week for a couple of months to save cash.

I always buy chicken and cod fish because they are two main dishes that are so inexpensive to prepare. I then buy whatever meat is on sale or about to expire for that week, and make that work with what I have at home stocked up. (The vegetables, rice, ect.)

Try to keep in mind that the more snacks you buy, the more you will snack at home. I never buy snacks anymore. It keeps you much healthier and gives you a thicker wallet. If you do not have temptation at home, you will succeed in your diet! Just keep full on meals at home that take more than one minute to prepare and your bad snacking will be no more. I only keep healthy snacks at home if I must munch such as peanut butter, apples, bananas, grapes, vegetables, a low calorie vinaigrette… you get the picture. You are in charge of the unhealthy food in your cabinets so stick to your grocery list. It’s so easy for me to resist temptation because  for a long time I didn’t have the opportunity to even splurge on snacks and stuff, which is why I eat so healthy.

Every Sunday, I lay out my meal plans for the week. This allows me to write down each ingredient I will need instead of guessing at the store. If a recipe becomes too expensive, I bookmark it for a special occasion and think of something else. You would be shocked how many different simple recipes you can make on your stovetop. Chop up your potatoes with vegetables and grill some chicken and there you go! 30 minute meal rightthere. I won’t write down every recipe I use, but I definitely have gotten very creative with cooking with the same ten ingredients over the past six months. I used to think I could never cook because it seemed so complicated, but just try it. It’s better for you, essentially faster and saves you so much dough. (Not literally, because you’ll probably use that for cooking.)

Those are some really quick tips for cheap grocery shopping on a budget. I hope that helped some of you out! Leave some comments or questions about your  grocery routine. Thanks of reading and stay #nerdy!