We often hear that working out and eating healthy is just too expensive. That can be true, but it is also does not have to be more expensive than not working out or buying healthy food.
First, let’s address food. On average, two adults living together will spend anywhere between $73-$145 per week on groceries, and families of four will spend between $146-$289 on average per week.* However, that is not including dining out and other miscellaneous food items you may buy outside of the grocery store. If you add up all of those other bills or one-off trips to the grocery store when you forget something, your weekly spending could add up – eating healthy or not.
To help give you an idea of what we ourselves spend, our weekly grocery bill ranges anywhere from $115 – $150 for the two of us. This includes all meals and snacks for 7 days! When we are on the higher end, and on the rare occasion (about once every other month) over $200, is when we happen to run out of items like detergent or other household products, and/or when we are stocking up on food items to test recipes for the Fairburn it Off Nutrition Plan. However, there seems to be this misconception that eating healthy means you have to buy all expensive products with fancy names, and that is just not true. So here are our tips for smart shopping to help you save money:
1. ) First, be honest about what you really spend per week on food.
In addition to all of your weekly grocery bills, include any meals that you may buy out (including a cup of coffee if you buy that) so that you can better see what you are really spending in total per week. It is easy to exclude what we spend out on meals, but that is still money spent, so it is important to calculate that all in.
2.) Check to see what is in season.
If a produce item is out of season, it is typically much more expensive. For example, here in New England, the blueberries are breaking our wallets right now since it is winter, so we are opting for other items like pomegranates.
3.) It’s not always about brand.
Check across different brands when shopping. We typically buy our grocery stores brand if it is the same exact product because it is typically much cheaper. For example, we were buying name brand oats, and then realized we were spending $2 extra every week when our grocery stores brand sold the exact same oats.
4.) Plan ahead.
Use your grocery list, planned out weeks and meal-by-meal guides in your nutrition plan for help with this. The nutrition plan purposely lays out all of your meals so that you can plan ahead of time and not forget or buy the wrong product at the store.
5.) Stock up on sales.
It is not always feasible to stock up on items, because a.) you might just not have enough room to store it, and b.) the product could go bad. However, if you see that oats are on sale, or maybe vegetable stock or tamari, or anything else that has a longer shelf life, try and stock up on some of it so you can purchase it at the lower price and not have to buy it again for awhile.
6.) Meal prep.
We typically prefer to meal prep on Sundays, but sometimes we move it to Mondays. It does not matter when you do it, as long as you do it to fit your schedule! This is extremely helpful for lunches and snacks at work, especially if you tend to buy your lunch at work. By meal prepping, you will be saving time and money by having your own lunch already with you.
Start incorporating these tips, even if you only apply one or two of them to start, to help you save time and money at the grocery store! Healthy eating does not and should not empty your wallet!
Check back later this week when we discuss how you can save money on exercise and even work out for free at the gym!
*Average grocery spending reported from the U.S. Department of Agriculture