Does your grocery bill have you down? Is buying gluten free hitting you in the piggy bank? If so, here are some tips to help you shop gluten free and save money on your grocery bill at the same time!
1. MAKE YOUR MEALS
When you purchase processed or pre-made food, you’re obviously paying for the labor it takes to get it to the point where you can simply unwrap it and eat it.
You can save money if you buy the raw ingredients for food and make it yourself. This also includes chopping your own fruits and veggies–the pre-chopped ones are more expensive.
If this sounds overwhleming, trust me, I feel your pain. I’m super lazy when it comes to cooking–if it takes more than 20 min of me standing at the counter or stove, I’ll never make the meal.
If you’re like me, invest in a crock pot or, even better, and instant pot. These magic little devices will take home-cooking from the realm of the imaginary and bring it into the realm of the possible (and make it easy).
Not only will you save on your grocery bill, you’ll eat healthier!
2. SURPRISE-ME MEALS
Have you ever noticed that you get food clutter in your fridge and pantry? I noticed it this past week after Thanksgiving. I went out and bought a bunch of food for specific entrees and side dishes, but I didn’t use all the raw ingredients.
And this will happen to me every few weeks–partial food items or ingredients will start to clutter up my kitchen. So every few weeks, go through your kitchen and pull out all the partial ingredients you have, get creative, and make a meal out of them!
This may seem scary at first, but you’ll be surprised what you come up with.
This past weekend I set out my food stragglers–an onion, 3 potatoes, broccoli, a pound of lamb, and a pound of chicken thighs. I threw it all in the instant pot. When it was done I added ghee, my favorite cheese substitute, some seasoning and ended up with a truly delicious stew!
3. MAKE YOUR MEAT LAST LONGER
High quality meat is expensive. Make it last longer by mixing it with other ingredients. Almost all of my instant pot meals are 1/3 meat and 2/3 vegetables. If you’re on a keto diet, you can make this work by choosing low-carb veggies.
Casseroles are another fantastic way to accomplish this. And you don’t have to compromise nutrition. Use brown rice, quinoa, or potatoes in your casseroles instead of instant white rice. You’ll be able to create something that’s both delicious and healthy.
A third option is to make more meals with eggs. Introduce the family to brinner (breakfast meals for dinner)! Eggs are a fantastic source of protein and much more affordable than meat.
A fourth option is to make several meals a week without any meat at all. Make a bean chili in your instant pot/crock pot or have a designated spaghetti night.
4. BUY IN SEASON & IN BULK
When you purchase produce in-season, it’s cheaper and typically higher quality than when it’s not in-season. Don’t be afraid to buy a bunch of it, prep it, and freeze it.
I do this every summer with strawberries. I buy a ton when they’re in season, and when I want a smoothie, I get out some frozen berries and enjoy my delicious treat.
I have a coworker who grows zucchini, and for about a month every Fall, he can’t give zucchini away fast enough. So I take a bunch, chop it into chunks, freeze it, and pull it out when I need something to throw in the instant pot. It doesn’t get cheaper than free!
If you have a recipe that calls for an out-of-season vegetable, try replacing it with it with something in-season or replacing it with veggies that are always easy on the grocery bill like cabbage, carrots, etc.
If there’s a sale on meat, buy a ton and throw it in the freezer! Stores often have reduced prices for bulk quantities and they always have a sale going–so keep your eyes open for sales on nuts, nut butters, legumes, canned goods, and other basics and stock up when the price dips.
5. SHOP SEVERAL STORES & TRY AMAZON
I started doing this years ago when I learned I couldn’t eat gluten any more. I get some food at one store, some at another, and some at yet another. Check out which stores have the best prices on your main food items.
I highly recommend giving up on monogomany when it comes to grocery shopping. Shop around! Your grocery bill will love you for it.
If that’s not time effective for you, hit a different grocery store each week. Shape one place one week and a different place the next week. That way you’re not driving all over creation on your weekly grocery store outing.
Also take a look at Amazon. They sometimes have really good deals. But know the average price for the food items you’re considering buying. It’s my experience that about half the time Amazon is actually more expensive than the grocery store.