Groceries are one of the biggest monthly expenses for people, but especially for those who look to eat nutritiously. I’m sure you’ve heard it before: if you want to eat well, you’ll have to pay more. And for the most part, that’s fairly true. If you want to eat quality, nutritionally dense food, you’ll have to be willing to pay for it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t save money. Here are some of our favorite tips to lower your grocery bills while still maintaining a diet that meets your macronutrient needs.
- Coupons. For the most part, you’re not going to find coupons for fresh fruits, vegetables and meats. But, it’s generally pretty easy to find coupons for dairy products, frozen fruits and veggies, and starches like rice or pasta. On occasion, grocery stores will also send out $10 off $50 or more coupons in the mail, so pay close attention (especially if you live near a Publix).
- Warehouse stores like Costco, Sam’s or BJ’s. Not every item here is a good deal, but organic produce and meat tends to run cheaper and better in quality than in grocery stores. Check out our Costco shopping guide here.
- Shop at the end of a farmer’s market. Sure, the selection will be less than if you had showed up at the beginning, but at the end of the day, sellers are more likely to cut a deal so they don’t have to haul back produce that will spoil. A simple “What’s the least you’ll take for this?” can help you score fresh, local produce for way less than you normally spend.
- Wholesale, bulk meat ordering. We’ve never tried Zaycon Foods, but we’ve heard that most people are pleased with the quality. Be sure to have enough storage space in the freezer, though!
- Restaurant supply stores. This one can get a little tricky, because most stores aren’t open to the public and require you to be a business or non-profit. However, with a little creativity, you can access the killer prices that these stores offer! One in the Chicago area has thick-cut bacon for $2/pound! If you or a friend don’t have an incorporated business, talk to the owner of your gym and see if you can spearhead a CSA-type purchasing program through your gym. Once your gym gets access, make a price list of core products (beef cuts, chicken, bacon, eggs, etc.) and get orders from fellow gym members. You might even be able to leverage a bulk purchase price!
What are your favorite ways to save money on groceries?