Everyone is looking for a way to lower the grocery bill. I constantly see questions from people on how to lower the grocery bill and almost always people come back with meal planning, couponing and shopping sale ads. I agree with those answers, but I think people are missing on the top two ways to lower the grocery bill!
1. Portion Control!
I’m American and we all know American portions are insanely huge. However, I have also been to Scotland, and I have to tell you, the portions there were pretty dang big too. In countries where we have excess, people are eating to excess and it not only shows on our waistlines, it shows up in the budget too.
Have you ever looked at portion sizes for adults? I’m sure most of us have seen the deck of cards trick or eating meat about the size of your palm right? The Mayo Clinic has a neat article showing sizes in relation to common objects. If you add children into the picture, well, that is where the real confusion begins. Unless food is specifically marketed to children, we have no idea what a correct portion of food looks like for a child. This is a great article for mothers to keep on hand for proper portion sizes for their growing children.
I truly believe that we are over eating food portions and in turn over spending at the grocery store. I can’t tell you how heartbroken I was to see a serving of ice cream is ONE SCOOP. I challenge you to try eating one weighed or measured proper portion of food for 1 meal this week. I would love to see how much you money you save!
2. Processing Food Yourself
Let’s be honest. It’s not fun to stand in front of a food processor for hours on end shredding cheese or slicing, dicing and chopping vegetables, especially if you have to do it right after a shopping trip. However, processing your own food can lower the grocery bill significantly and with help doesn’t really take THAT long.
For example, I have discovered huge savings in processing my own chopped lettuce. Sam’s Club here has 6 heads of Romaine Lettuce for around $4.00. If I take out 3 heads at a time, slice them up, throw them in a colander, rinse and drip dry, I have maybe spent 10 minutes prepping that food, (I’m a slow chopper!!!) and I would have lunch time salads and dinner time sides for a few nights during the week, roughly 7 meals for $.29 cents. Bagged salad mix here is about $3.00 a bag or more, and it would give me roughly 4 meals at $.75 each. While both are still cheaper than eating out, very little extra time or effort is put into prepping salads versus buying them and I think we can all agree the savings are huge. If you want to read more on processing your own food, I have a post on how to process a chicken here.
Do you measure out portions to your family? How much work do you put into processing your own foods? Tell me about it!