No doubt, eating whole foods and cooking from scratch is the number one biggest step our family has taken to save money.
Food is a huge expense, especially in British Columbia where we’ve recently moved. So I can’t afford to run all willy-nilly to the store and buy breakfast cereal or granola bars or individual packages of yogurt. Not if I also want to make rent.
Instead, I’m baking our own bread, cooking hot breakfast (yes, every morning), and snacking on leftovers.
I’ll admit, it can be an adjustment, especially when you’re used to the kiddos being able to help themselves in the kitchen with pre-packaged snacks and meals. It takes more time to prepare homemade granola ahead of time instead of having convenient larabars lying around. But the benefits far outweigh the transition period.
Not only can you save money by buying real potatoes instead of boxes of instant mashed potatoes, you can rest easy knowing that your family is eating healthier. Simply cutting the junk food and/or processed foods can save a ton of money. Want proof?
Go find your last grocery bill receipt (if you’re like me, it’s probably still in your purse). Now, get a sharpie and cross through everything that is technically a luxury food item. Cross through the soda, the brownie mix, the frozen dinners, the pre-packaged cereals and snack foods. Now, tally up the number and tell me the end result. If you’re like most Americans, it was probably a substantial number.
Imagine how much money you could save if you fed the kids oatmeal (no, not the instant kind. blegh) for breakfast and started making your own tortillas. Yes, it does involve a bit more effort, but not as much as you might fear. And there’s a certain pride that comes from being more involved in the food that gets put on the table.
Since we’ve made the sudden switch to a completely whole foods diet, I’ve lost about 10 lbs in the past 2 months with no effort. I didn’t count a calorie or nuthin’. My food is just naturally more nutritionally dense now, resulting in my being dramatically less hungry – with nary a craving. (Unless I’m sick. Then I just want to eat Hardees. Which thankfully there are none of here).
How do you save money on food?