Save Grocery DollarsBy Nonna Joann • Apr 9th, 2009 • Category: Stretch Grocery $$$
…Buy Whole Foods
Stretching your food budget is BIG news today. I’ve been a guest on several TV and radio programs as of late: offering tips on how to save at the grocery store. There’s a heightened interest with concerns about the economy. So much so, it’s common for regular TV news features to focus on ways to make your grocery dollars stretch.
It seems there’s another magazine article on saving at the grocery store with each new issue. The latest is from Consumer Reports, “Shop Smart & Save Big.” CR offers their best grocery tips, comparison shops for the lowest price, and customers rate supermarkets. CR cut their grocery bill in half by paying attention to price, purchasing store brands, and frequenting warehouse stores. All are tried and true techniques.
Ally knows how to pinch pennies.
CR says coupons can also bring down your grocery bill, even though coupons are usually for highly processed food items. Most of the time, I only recommend coupons for non-perishable items, like diapers and other paper products. Otherwise, it’s best to stay away from processed foods, even with the benefit of a coupon, and stick with whole foods.
This shouldn’t come as a big surprise, but it does, without fail articles and news reports focused on saving, invariably, include highly processed foods. The truth is when you purchase whole foods your food budget will go further. We believe the opposite, because we’re comparing the wrong items. We’re stuck in a rut of processed foods.
Moms often tell me purchasing whole foods is too expensive, yet they load up their shopping carts with processed cookies, crackers, chips, and soda. Dollar for dollar, junk foods are the most expensive items in the grocery store, with no nutritional value whatsoever. Instead of spending $3 or $4 on a bag of chips or cookies, buy fresh fruit. It’s much cheaper to purchase beans cooking them yourself, rather than canned beans. In addition, your health will benefit as well, saving dollars spent on medical care.
Pound for pound, nuts may be expensive, but eating just a few will stop hunger pains, filling you up. Actually, that’s the key to whole foods. Just a little will satisfy you. When you eat a diet of processed foods, devoid of nutrients, you overeat. Your body is trying to get the nutrients it requires, but you’re eating empty calories. You spend more, because your family eats more. When your family eats whole foods, they will feel satiated, consuming less food.
Okay, you agree, but you’re always running to catch up with yourself. Who has the time to cook whole foods? It’s true, whole foods can take a little more time to prepare. I offer three time-saving tips in Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater. They’re summarized in my blog, Three Easy Meal Tips.
You can save grocery dollars and save time in the process. To expedite the process, it’s a good idea to make a few initial expenditures. Three time-saving small appliances worth investing in are a pressure cooker (the original fast food), a crock pot (slow cooker), and the best blender you can afford. I love my VitaMix—a blender on steroids.
With whole foods, my Three Easy Meal Tips, and three helpful appliances, there are no excuses. You’ll save grocery dollars AND have healthy meals on the table in just minutes!