Grocery Series Part III: How to save money

1 Jul

In the past year my shopping habits have changed drastically. I used to shop in order to save money. I was still eating “healthy” but I mainly focused on couponing and getting the most food for my  money. Now I’ve changed priorities and realized that if I am going to look for ways to save money, compromising on what I put in my body is probably not the best way to start. According to Michael Pollan (Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food), Americans spend the LEAST percentage amount of their income on food compared to other nations. Coincidentally we are the most unhealthy…..

I’ve already talked about ways to prioritize what to buy organic and how to eat local, but I will admit these foods are still more expensive than conventional and industrial raised products. But are you willing to sacrifice quality over quantity? Here are some things I’ve cut out to save money to put into ethically raised animals and local produce:

1) Dairy

IMG_2683[1]

{Moo Cows better to look at then to drink from}

I know, I know…dairy is supposed to be good for you (calcium and stuff). If you eat Paleo dairy is out- but that’s not the main reason I nixed it. Industrial dairy has been processed to the point where it’s doing more harm than good in my opinion. And organic dairy is expensive. I buy Austin organic milk and that’s it. I’ve given up cheese, yogurt and milk myself.  I know we all love our Chobani, but that $4-5 a week adds up! And don’t even ask me where I’m getting calcium. There are plenty of other sources! Google it.

2) Cereals and processed snack products

Cereal

(source)

I read in Omnivore’s Dilemma that a $4 box of cereal takes 4 cents of commodity corn to make. Cereal is ROBBERY IN A BOX. And can we just take a minute to think about what nutritionally cereal does for you? Oh that’s right, nothing. When health claims start appearing on boxes of Lucky Charms, we’ve really gone off the deep end as a society.

I know it is delicious (and you can get it cheaper using coupons). For me, it’s a food with no brakes, so I simply can’t afford to have it around at all.

Same goes with all those snack bars, protein bars, granola bars infused with fiber. I know! I used to buy them! But it makes more sense to use that money for more nutritionally sound and un-processed food.

3) Frozen Meals/Canned Soup

I used to buy lean cuisines or smart ones, or canned soup for lunch all the time. They are pricey as well. Now I make enough dinner every night to bring leftovers the next day.  Now that I really think about it…….

4) Anything processed or packaged at all.

If you’re buying processed food, don’t tell me you can’t afford organic. Don’t even get me started on soda.

 

Other ways you could assess if changing the way you eat and shop for food would work….can you cancel cable? Why is watching your favorite sitcoms more important than what you put in your body? (*To be fair, I’ve suggested this multiple times to my fiancé, but still get a resounding NO. He’s not on board. If it was just me there’s now way I would have TV).

What about spending habits elsewhere? It’s important to look at your budget and where your money goes before deciding it’s “not worth it” to care about what goes into your body. I know for me, I really need to stop getting sucked into “blog food fads”. LOL Almond flour, Larabars and fancy nut butters also are a money suck. But there sooooo gooooooood :(  If I can cut back on some of this I would have more money to buy local organic produce (I still buy a lot from the grocery store- hey at least it’s not soda).

IMG_2487[1]

{yummy but big money suck}

How do you feel about prioritizing what you put in your body over other life expenses?

Is eating organic realistic? Why or why not?

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3 Responses to “Grocery Series Part III: How to save money”

  1. Katie @ Live Half Full July 1, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    I definitely think I spend less now that I’m eating less processed foods. I buy in bulk, sale shop the produce and meat and stock up on staples when they are on sale. It works for me!!

  2. Jan @ Sprouts n Squats July 1, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

    I now buy so much less processed food than I ever did before. I used to be really into ‘diet’ processed food thinking it was so great how low in calories it was but not really thinking about all the chemical crap I was putting in my body. I see a naturopath and she told me I should buy an organic yoghurt instead of chobani which I did but I must say I prefer chobani in taste so I’ve compromised and in my smoothies where I can’t taste the difference I use the natural organic yoghurt and when I’m eating yoghurt straight I have chobani.

    Love this post 🙂

  3. Alex @ Brain, Body, Because July 5, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    Love this post! I’m definitely a budgeter and a penny pincher and there are ALWAYS at least one or two ways that costs can be cut. Eliminating processed foods is a great suggestion. Why should I pay someone else to prepare my food when I’m perfectly capable of doing it myself? Plus, processed food often has a SCARY amount of sodium.

    Great tips, Andrea!

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