I’d like to introduce you to my first ever guest writer. Melissa C. from the Blog Content Guild wrote about saving money on groceries for me this week:
Cheap meals for the vegetarian in you
The benefits of eating a vegetarian diet are numerous. Typically, a diet rich in veggies ensures that your body gets all the nutrients it can’t get from meat alone. You also don’t have to worry as much about calories because vegetables are well known for being a high-density and low-calorie food. One downside of a plant-based diet is the extra cost it can require. If you follow a few simple tips, you’ll be making tasty and cheap meals in no time.
Make a list and check it twice
One of the biggest contributors to high food cost is impulse. We’ve all done it: You walk into the store when your stomach is growling and you end up spending twice what your budget calls for. Fortunately, this problem doesn’t require an overly complex solution. All you need to do is commit yourself to writing a list and sticking to it. As you go through your food at home, make a note every time you run out of one of your staples. You can also go through your recipe book and pick out a few recipes for the week, so you know exactly what and how many ingredients you need. You’ll be surprised at the savings you’ll see if you don’t go “off-list” for a while.
No coupons, no problem
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about saving at the grocery? For many, it’s coupons. Unfortunately, if you’re eating a vegetarian diet, it’s likely that a big chunk of your grocery spending goes toward fresh produce. You can still save money if you use the right strategy. If you look at your local store’s weekly advertisement, you’ve probably noticed the weekly deals on produce. These sales usually follow a cycle based on the fruits and vegetables that are in season in your area at the time. As you can imagine, there’s a larger supply of seasonal vegetables so they have a lower price. You can search this database by month and state to find out what types of produce are likely to be on sale throughout the year. It might not be as simple as clipping a coupon, but you can still get the good deals if you look hard enough.
Focus on cheap staples
Vegetarians have it good when it comes to getting deals on staple foods. Most vegetarian diets are chock full of things like beans, potatoes, lentils and rice. Take a look at your local grocery store, and you’ll find that these foods are usually the biggest bargain of all, with many coming in at less than a quarter per serving. That’s right, for just 25 cents, you can get a full serving of food. What meat-eater can say that? If you stick to the cheaper basics, you’ll be able to splurge on some of your favorites that cost a bit more.
If you follow these three simple tips, you’ll be amazed at how quickly your grocery bill will go down.