We hear time and time again that it is more expensive to buy organic, purchase and make meals rather than buying fast food or pre-made meals from the freezer section. This information is mostly hype to keep you purchasing processed items. They don’t want you to sit down and do the math to realize it really is cheaper to make most items yourself. Here are a few quick mommy hacks to money and time saving tips when shopping for your family!
• Meal Plan to Avoid Fast Food Stops
This can be a daunting task, but in all reality if you get organized before you go to the grocery store, it will be well worth the savings. Plus, no more regretting what you ate from your fast food stop! Try to plan meals based on what is on sale and what compliments your current stock then make a list of 4-7 meals you have all of the ingredients to make. This helps to reduce the "what the heck is for dinner," thoughts at the end of the day. You will know exactly what menu choices you have. Be proactive to pull things out of the freezer or make lunches the night before. This avoids stress in the morning when trying to get not only yourself, but everyone else ready for the day. Remember it will probably take a couple weeks to find your groove with meal planning, but once you do you won’t go back!
• Live in the Fresh Produce Section
That frozen lasagna for $15 dollars can look so appetizing with the picture on the box and already prepped. Buying each individual ingredient may seem costly, but usually you get larger amounts of ingredients to make the dish, allowing you to maybe double the pan and have some for lunches the next day. Plus you'll know it isn't full of sodium and processed meat. Also, look for recipes that can be made in the crock pot to save time. You will be amazed at how many meals can be made in there, from soups and pastas, to brownies!
• Harness the Magic of Your Freezer at Home
Buy or pick fresh berries when they are in season and freeze them at home for use in baked goods, waffles and smoothies all throughout the year. A bag of frozen organic berries can cost over $6, but if you buy the same berries in season and freeze them yourself they cost close to or even less than $3! The same can be done with fresh meats that are in season such as salmon and other fish. Plan ahead and optimize those in-season items!
• Learn to Can – We Promise it’s Worth it
Canning can be a super foreign concept. We know, but if you take a bit of time to learn and do it, you will have a stock pile of healthy snacks and veggies. Grow your favorite produce in your own garden so you can make the canned goods that you use the most. If you don’t have a garden (or time for one) you can buy in bulk from the farmers market, which also helps support your local small business economy! Canning your own pickles, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and salsa will cost you considerably less than buying them from the store and taste amazing.
• Re-Vamp your Budget
When you are stocked up on foods in season it will cost a little more at first, but come winter when many things aren’t in season you’ll pull from you back stock and be saving those months on grocery bills. Say goodbye to a monthly set spending number and think in terms of a seasonal budget. Again, this takes a bit of planning and thinking ahead, but will result in much less sporadic or impulse spending.
We hope these tips helps to inspire you to give clean eating ago. Once you fall into a rhythm and it becomes a lifestyle change you’ll be feeling better about what you and your family are eating, as well as saving money! If you have any great advice for our followers on saving money and eating clean we would love to hear it.
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