10 Money Saving Tips for Real Food Eaters
I recently wrote a post on 5 Time-Saving Tips for Real Food Eaters. In doing so, I realized that many of those time-saving tips are also money-saving ones, too! Those of us who are trying to save money eating real food may already be using a few of these tips, but hopefully you’ll learn something new, too!
The 2 biggest challenges to eating Real Food that I most often hear from people are TIME and MONEY. It a lot of ways that is accurate. BUT, there are lots of things you can do to save money while still eating Real Food.
Here are my 10 Money Saving Tips:
This saves time, but it also saves money. I have found it saves me money because when I meal plan once a month and make my shopping lists for the different food sources I use (grocery store, buyers club, Thrive Market, Costco, Organic Produce Delivery, etc), when I go shopping I only buy what I know I need. It prevents a lot of impulse-buying. PLUS, if I can meal plan once a month and do my main shopping then, I don’t have to make lots of little trips to the local grocery store – and those ALWAYS result in my buying things that aren’t on my list! Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this!
If you are someone who would rather have someone ELSE meal plan for you, check out the Frugal Real Food Meal Plan Subscription here.
2. Chicken in the Crockpot:
Cooking a whole chicken in the crockpot will give you enough for 2 meals – or more if you are single, have a small family OR are cooking a big chicken! (Here is the crockpot I love). PLUS you can make lots of homemade chicken broth afterwards. Here’s how I do my chicken and make broth in the crockpot.
I use leftover chicken in casseroles and often make Homemade Chicken or Veggie and Rice Soup.
3. Veggie Scraps in Freezer:
This saves money as you aren’t throwing away your food scraps, but are rather “re-purposing” them. I use mine for making homemade Chicken Broth. I save celery ends/leaves, broccoli stalks and any other veggie that may rot before I have had time to use them!
4. Buy dried beans instead of canned:
Example: I buy a 10lb bag of organic black beans for $10.50. One pound of dried beans = 2 cups. One cup of dried beans equals 2.5 to 3 cups of cooked beans. So a 10lb bag would end up giving me 50-60 cups of cooked beans.
That’s a lot! Given that a 15oz can of organic black beans probably runs somewhere around $2 a can here in the U.S., that ends up being a savings of about 50% using dried versus canned. PLUS, you know they are fresh. One tip: When you are meal planning, it’s always good to incorporate what-to-do-the-night-before instructions in your calendar (such as soaking beans overnight for the next day, etc).
5. Buy Cheese in 5lb blocks (or whatever large size is available):
Cut into chunks and shred at home (I use this Food processor to shred it quickly and easily). Put into quart-sized freezer bags and store in freezer to use when you need it. Pre-shredded cheese is not only more expensive, but it also has added nasty ingredients (like cellulose and natamycin).
6. Make a couple of meatless meals each week.
We eat meat, but we choose to eat meat from a local farm whose animals are out on pasture, raised with organic practices, and which are eating what they are supposed to be eating. Meat is expensive especially when you buy organic/pastured meats, so a big cost-cutting move it to eat less of it.
7. Grow Your Own Food and then Preserve It:
If you are fortunate enough to have space for a small (or large) garden, take advantage! For increased yields, be sure to use high-quality organic compost in the fall and/or spring to boost the soil health. “Companion planting” is also helpful for controlling pests – you can read more about that in this great book “Tomatoes Love Carrots”.
8. Buy Most of Your Food Through a Buyers Club.
I do this and not only does it save money (and time), but it’s convenient. Order once a month, pick up once a month and you can get a large amount of your months’ food all at once. The added benefit is that buyers clubs tend to try to use local sources whenever possible. I wrote more about why you’d want to join a buyers club in this post. *Note: if you live in the West Michigan area, I will be starting a new buyers club when we move to Zeeland later this summer. Email me via the icon below my pic and I’ll put you on my contact list for that buyers club!
9. Grind Your Own Flour.
I buy a 25lb bag of Organic Hard Red Wheat Berries for $17.50. Per research I’ve seen, 1lb of wheat berries = 3 cups of flour. So you can get roughly 75 cups of flour from a 25lb bag of wheat berries, for $17.50. Not bad! Plus, it’s organic.
10. Eat Real Food.
It’s as simple as that. It saves money by helping to boost the immune system and give your body what it needs to function optimally, thus cutting down on sicknesses, doctor visits and medicine, let along missed days of work. Let food by your medicine (and prevention!) whenever possible!
Please share in the comments what YOU do to save money while still eating Real Food!