Saturday, July 25, 2009

Grocery Buying Thought #1: Staples

One way to reduce the amount you spend on groceries is to figure out which foods are staples in your family's diet and make adjustments. For example, convincing your family to drink water instead of soda will save a lot of money, and it will make everyone healthier.

For my family, throwing out the granola bars made a significant difference. At first it made sense to me to buy low-sugar granola bars in bulk. They were relatively healthy and we could eat them on the run. The problem was, I liked them so much, I ate them all the time. Eventually, I realized I ought to be eating whole grain bread or rice, nuts, and fruit instead.

The great thing is, any one of these things cost less per ounce than the bars. The grains--which made up the bulk of the bars anyway--cost much less. I stopped buying the bars and, when they were no longer an option, I started eating healthier replacements. I save money every month, just by cutting them out.

Here are a few other adjustments we are working on:

-more beans and lentils, less meat
-whole grain bread and rice as staples (good, cheap, solid, healthy calories)
-more seasonal fruits
-only very inexpensive, healthy cereals
-more whole vegetable, fewer prepared veggies
-no more frozen pizza (I have to admit, sometimes I get nostalgic about these)
-if I am desperate for cookies, then I have to make them myself

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