Save money on your grocery bill — Plantiful Coach

  1. First up, maybe this goes without saying, but learn how to cook. Eateries typically price their meals by multiplying the cost of ingredients by four (they also have to pay rent, staff, insurance etc.).
  2. Make a meal plan and shopping list (or get it from me!) and plan your shop around it. Stick to the list, and only buy what you know you’ll use.
  3. Go to the shops when you have time and energy to compare prices and make smart choices.
  4. Shop around, and start training yourself to remember (ballpark) prices. You’ll be surprised by how much they differ from place to place: a store selling bulk produce vs one selling organic can have a five-fold price difference on some products (no joke!). I shop at a few different places: a low-cost fresh produce store (where I can also get away with using almost no packaging), a local Asian grocer (for spices, whole grains, legumes and tofu), supermarkets (for frozen, canned and processed foods), and a health store for more niche products (e.g. nutritional yeast, liquid smoke etc.). I also sometimes shop online for lesser-known products like tempeh and gluten flour.
  5. Avoid ready-made foods-buy whole foods instead, which you can prepare at home. These will inevitably be more budget-friendly, since they aren’t ‘value-added’ products. Convenience doesn’t come cheap 🙂
  6. For staples you know you’ll use repeatedly and that have a longer shelf life (e.g. whole grains, legumes and canned foods), buy in bulk.
  7. Buy dried legumes (they’re cheaper than canned). I’m a big fan of black lentils, chickpeas, black beans, and red lentils. Always have something soaking, to cook it the next day, then freeze half and refrigerate half, if you’re not using it in a recipe that day. It’s great to have cooked legumes on hand: you can add them to a stew, curry, soup or salad for a boost of protein, fibre and minerals.
  8. Try new foods. See what’s available: if you find something inexpensive that you’re not familiar with, look up some recipes and give it a try!
  9. Cook for more than one meal, and eat the leftovers for lunch, or freeze it for another day.
  10. On that note: use your freezer! It’s really good at preserving foods for a loooong time. You might want to invest in some decent quality airtight containers.

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