Grocery Shopping Tips for a Family on a Budget

Ways to balance quality foods while keeping your budget.

Ways to balance your need for healthy food and keeping to a budget

Can you imagine yourself in this situation?

You care deeply about your family’s health and wellness. Quality, nutritious foods are important to you, yet you are rapidly becoming frustrated with the price of organic, non-GMO, free-range and other healthy product offerings. How do you balance your desire for quality foods with your need to stay within your price point?

If you can relate, here are some of our best tips for grocery shopping on a budget.

Keep room in the freezer

One of the easiest ways to leverage your grocery budget is by buying frequent items in bulk when they go on sale. If these items are perishable and they freeze well, get extra and store them in the freezer until you are ready to use them.

Your your dirty dozen and clean fifteen

In a perfect world, we would eat only organically grown fresh farm produce from our local farmer’s market, but that isn’t always possible, especially during long Minnesota winters. The prices for organic produce are sometimes double that of standard offerings. In these cases, it helps to know just how pesticide-laden the standard product is. The Environmental Working Group’s dirty dozen and clean fifteen lists provide a starting point.

If an item is on the dirty dozen list, it is known to be high in pesticides. It is best to go the organic route or avoid purchasing it altogether. Items on the clean fifteen list have relatively low levels of pesticides. Depending on your stance on GMO, you may still decide to choose organic, but otherwise, go ahead and leverage your budget by purchasing the standard version.

Plan ahead

The biggest ways in which we sabotage our grocery budget both revolve around a lack of planning. If we can simply adjust our approach to grocery shopping and avoid these two pitfalls, our budget will thank us.

Grocery shopping while hungry

Walking into a grocery store while hungry is a recipe for disaster. By the time you make it home from the store and start unloading the groceries, you may realize that you inadvertently purchased all sorts of extra items which weren’t on the list but sounded oh so delicious. The problem is, if they weren’t on the list, odds are they weren’t in the budget either.

Eating out because we avoided grocery shopping

Perhaps you have had a long week, and you have been putting off grocery shopping altogether because it just sounds like too much work. Now it is finally Friday night, and everyone is asking you, “What’s for dinner?” Since there are very minimal options in the fridge, you end up going out to eat and blowing through way more money than if you had planned and shopped for the ingredients for a nutritious home-cooked meal.

Consider a bulk warehouse membership

Finally, especially if you have a large family, consider the merits of purchasing a membership to a bulk warehouse club. While you pay for the yearly membership, the items’ prices are often substantially lower than they would be at the grocery store. By buying in bulk, you can often prepare large batches of freezer friendly meals and then store them for later. Following this tip can save on both time and money.

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