Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
29 May

99 Ways to Save Money on Food

moneyappleFrom time to time I hear from Primal Blueprinters that the cost of the PB diet can be challenging. What with the cost of grass-fed/finished beef, wild caught fish and organic produce things can add up pretty quickly, they say. Apart from the fact that you’ll likely end up saving money in the long run (it’s an invest in your healthy – think no monthly medication bills and doctor visits) there are numerous ways to pinch pennies, cut corners and otherwise follow the PB diet on the cheap without compromises.

I’ve published numerous articles (How to Eat Healthy and Save Money, The Depression Diet, Healthy Eating on a Budget and many others) on the topic of eating 100% Primal without breaking the bank. It turns out that it isn’t nearly as difficult as it might seem at face value. In fact with a little common sense and forethought it is pretty easy.

Click through to view my list of 99 ways to save money on food.

I’ve simply listed the various tactics one could take to save money on food assuming that the reasons are self apparent. If any clarification is needed hit me up with a comment in the boards!

How to Shop

1. Shop at Farmers’ markets

2. BuyThrift Cuts

3. Buy off-label/store brands

4. Negotiate at the Farmers’ market

5. Shop at a warehouse club for select food items

6. Buy local

7. When on sale, stock up

8. Buy in bulk

9. Buy frozen veggies

10. Buy canned veggies

11. Use coupons

12. Shop the perimeter. Don’t buy processed/branded food items.

13. Double coupons

14. Check with grocery store to see if they accept expired coupons

15. Don’t buy things just because they are cheap. If you don’t end up using it no matter how cheap it was it’s lost money.

16. Put “blinders” on while in the checkout aisle. Avoid making last minute impulse buys.

17. Check the unit price on grocery store price tags

18. Bring your own bags. Some grocery stores will give you cash back for using your own.

19. Check your receipt. Even computers make mistakes.

20. Comparison shop – Buy from the cheapest grocery store (Whole Foods is expensive)

21. Use a grocery store membership card

22. Don’t shop hungry

23. Make a shopping list and stick to it

24. Only buy veggies the day you are going to use them to avoid spoilage/waste

25. Buy from ethnic food stores

26. Have a budget and stick with it

27. Shop at roadside markets

28. Shop alone

29. Buy in-season

30. Check expiration dates before buying

31. Minimize travel time to grocery store. Fewer trips and staying local means less gas spent.

32. Only buy organics when it makes sense

33. Do all your grocery shopping on one day of the week, and don’t spend money on food the rest of the week, no matter what.

34. Give yourself a per-day rate. $12/day? $8/day? $5/day? Once you’ve spent that much on food, you can’t spend anymore until the next day.

35. Pay with cash. People tend to spend less when they pay with cash.

36. Don’t be tricked by the “5 for $5.” Most grocery stores give the discounted price even if you buy a single item unless the tag specifies otherwise.

37. Ask for a rain check if the store is out of the sale item

38. Check for purchase limits

39. Check for sale offer requirements (need to buy 2 to get deal)

40. Get cash back rewards from your credit card company

Prepare Your Own Food

41. Prepare your own food. Clean and chop your own greens instead of buying pre-packaged. Grate your own cheese. Dice your own veggies. Make your own ice. Food manufacturers charge a premium for convenience.

42. Learn to cook

43. Make your own baby food

44. Reuse coffee grounds

45. Make your own snacks (jerky, energy bars, dried fruit, nut snacks)

46. Keep meals simple

47. Pack your lunch for work

48. Make your own coffee

49. Find cheap recipes and use them often

50. Use cheap ingredients to spice up a meal

Dining Out

51. Don’t dine out (see #42)

52. If you must dine out and you have children use this iPhone app: KidsEatFree

53. If you eat out, share a dish. Many restaurants serve enough food for two people.

54. Don’t buy appetizers, desserts, or drinks at a restaurant

55. Avoid Starbucks at all costs

56. For fine dining, go during lunch. Many four star restaurants have separate lunch and a dinner menus. The dishes are all the same, it’s just a change in price.

57. Don’t pay for other peoples’ food. If the server won’t split the check, don’t be the person to be paid back later. We all know how well that works out.

58. 1 Beer at an L.A. Bar = 24 beers from the Liquormart = 48 generic cans of vegetables. Just stand around with a glass of water in your hand and pretend to be drunk.

Odds and Ends

59. Build your own garden and grow your own food

60. Join a CSA

61. Know how long foods last refrigerated/frozen

62. Don’t be wasteful. Eat your leftovers.

63. Hunt for dinner

64. Eat the entire animal

65. And that includes inexpensive organ meats

66. Ditch specialty beverages and stick with water

67. Be adventurous. Try new things (the things that are cheaper).

68. Cowpool

69. Ditch alcohol

70. Pick public fruit

71. Eat less. Eat slower and practice portion control.

72. Experiment with Intermittent Fasting

73. Drink tap water instead of bottled water

74. Use the power of Google to find recipes for old pantry and freezer food items

75. Give up coffee

76. Eat calorie dense foods

77. Be prepared. Primalize your pantry and fridge, and keep it well stocked so you don’t find yourself tempted to order delivery.

78. Start your own farm

79. Recycle cans and bottles

80. Visit relatives. Most relatives offer food.

81. Learn to fish. This has worked for thousands of years.

82. Breastfeed your children

83. If it is bite sized and you have to unwrap it, it’s probably not worth buying.

84. 90% of all meals can be prepared with a knife, a pan, and a flame. Don’t buy the de-crusting 5 minute magic grill cheeser. Don’t buy the juicer. And don’t, DON’T buy the slap chop.

85. Let the kids help with dinner. Don’t let them help with the grocery shopping.

86. The value meal has no value. Avoid this junk food at all costs.

87. Antioxidant juice? No. Try an antioxidant multivitamin supplement: orders of magnitude stronger, half as expensive, and 0 grams of sugar.

88. Substitute meat for eggs in some meals

89. Raid your great grandma’s recipe book. She cooked during the Great Depression. She knows the ropes.

Just for Fun

(because coming up with 99 ways to save money on food is much more difficult than saving money on food)

90. Stock up on free condiments from fast food joints, truck stops, cafeterias, and yes, churches.

91. Go to funerals. There’s always food at funerals.

92. Sign up to be on email lists for churches, support groups, political causes, and enthusiast clubs. Social groups often arrange get-togethers with free food to entice people to show up.

93. Abuse buffets

94. Want cheap eggs? Buy a chicken. You’ll be surprised at how many they can pop out.

95. Dumpster dive. Many grocery stores have a policy of throwing out certain foods after a certain number of days. Befriend your grocer, and ask him/her to set aside the toss-outs for you.

96. Try Responsibly Slim (shameless plug ;)). Where else can you get a well-rounded, delicious, quick and easy meal replacement for a buck and change?

97. Make like Ghandi and fast for a cause

98. Eat insects for breakfast

99. Stray cats. (What? Meat is meat. Right?)

Can you come up with number 100? Share you thoughts on ways to save money on food in the comment board.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

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