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Wondering how to save money? Start with your shopping habits. Here are our top tips for grocery shopping on a budget and still eating super well. Looking for ways to improve your cooking sills? Check out this video:

The Financial Diet blog:


Chelsea: Hi I'm Chelsea

Lauren: And I'm Lauren

Chelsea: And we are...

Together: The Financial Diet!

Lauren: And today we're going to be talking about something that takes up one of the biggest things in our monthly budgets and that is food. 

Chelsea: What you choose to eat and how you choose to buy that food can make or break a budget. 2 people who earn the same thing could find themselves with like totally different numbers at the end of the month because one person has mastered shopping smart at the grocery store and cooking at home and the other person has not. 

Lauren: And that's one of the biggest things that we advocate for here on TFD and that's home-cooking. And you should check out one of our earlier videos where we did 19 essentials that every home-cook should have in their kitchen. 

Chelsea: We'll link that in the description. But becoming a really prolific is only one part of the battle. The other part is really mastering the grocery store, so we came up with some guidelines and strategies that we believe at TFD really help anyone become a super grocery shopper. 

Lauren: And we really think that his process is twofold. The first part is understanding what you're doing wrong currently and the second part is understanding how you can change moving forward. 

Chelsea: So these are just some of our signs that you may have a grocery shopping problem. You may not be doing all of these today, but there are probably at least a few that you could improve on. 

Lauren: You constantly have things going bad in your fridge

Chelsea: You buy overpriced salad dressings because the fancy, well-designed label

Lauren: You justify expensive gluten free or vegan organic baked goods because you simply want to "try" them

Chelsea: You buy both fancy granola and sometimes fancy ingredients for granola because both of them tempt you in their own way

Lauren: You eat meat with most home-cooked meals as if it weren't expensive and/or bad for the environment

Chelsea: You shop for the cook you want to be instead of the cook that you are and end up with a lot of ambitious ingredients that you don't know what to do with

Lauren: You'll justify any seasonal food purchase for the fall

Chelsea: You're a sucker for anything that comes in bulk form with a scoop: coffee, olives, nuts, whatever

Lauren: You shop at the grocery store after work with the intention of buying ingredients for dinner, but instead you pick up stuff from the prepared food section because you're too hungry to wait

Chelsea: You buy the supplies for and prepare batches of baked good for like 20 people when you're only 1-2 people eating them so you end up with like a comical amount of muffins to foist on people at work or in your social life

Lauren: You become obsessed with one Pinterest recipe an you go out and buy ingredients for just that one meal rather than ingredients that you can use all week long. So here are some of our ways you can help combat this

Chelsea: Plan ahead with both your shopping and your meals, which means that when you go to the store you make a big list of everything that you want for the week when you make meals you make them in big batches and you freeze half of everything

Lauren: When you're buying items that are priced per item make sure that you're getting the biggest one

Chelsea: Anecdote: Today I was getting my flowers because I have company coming over and they have roses that are by the dozen $9.99 and someone messed up when making my bouquet and they put like 30 roses in it and it was still $9.99! So do that, but also with like broccoli and stuff. When going to the store always make sure to map out at least 2 recipes you want to be making so that you're not shopping blind.

Lauren: Focus on things that you buy once to make many meals from, things like curry paste, basic grains, and frozen vegetables

Chelsea: Always have a small snack about an hour before you go to the grocery store because nothing end in more regret than going grocery shopping hungry

Lauren: ...Or drunk

Chelsea: Or Drunk!!

Lauren: Or even tipsy!

Chelsea: Grocery shopping after brunch is a nightmare!

Lauren: Yeah... if you're splitting groceries with a roommate or a significant other make sure that you have a system and a plan in place for how you split it

Chelsea: If it's in your budget, and ethics and sustainability is important to you when it comes to food, consider finding things like a local butcher or a farmer's market where you can start getting things like meat and produce.

Lauren: When you find more luxury items, like high quality protein, on sale, make sure that you buy in bulk and then freeze it.

Chelsea: Look into items that you'll always buy, especially things like toiletries, cleaning supplies, et cetera, and just have them automatically delivered by ordering them online. This will save you some of your grocery store trips, and therefore more temptation.

Lauren: Find starches that can serve as the base for all of your extraneous ingredients in your fridge. Things like pizza crust and risotto rice can serve as the perfect excuse to get rid of that left over chicken.

Chelsea: See also quiche. Essentially anything can go into a quiche, and trust us, we have tried. So, those are some of our warning signs and strategies for grocery store mastery, but there are plenty of good tips we probably haven't even thought of yet. So, if you have something you absolutely remember to do when going to the grocery store, please leave it in the comments below.

Lauren: So, as always, thank you for watching, and don't forget to hit the subscribe button and go to the for more.

Together: Bye!