With how much fresh produce I consume, I am often asked, “How much do you spend on groceries? How often do you go shopping?”
First off, I think it’s important to note that groceries are a high-priority item in my budget. I would rather spend my money on high-quality food over clothes, shoes or random purchases any day. That being said, I do, of course, try to keep my grocery budget within reason!
One of my best tips for doing that is by making sure I buy only what I need–> wasted food = wasted money.
By shopping often (3-4x a week) I prevent over-buying, because I’m always aware of what’s in my fridge, and use it immediately!
A typical shopping trip for me:
- 16 oz. carton of salad greens
- 3-pack of organic romaine hearts
- Bunch of organic “dino” kale (best kind for juicing!)
- 2 organic cucumbers
- 2 avocadoes
- 3 organic peaches (for Austin)
- Bag of organic lemons
- Head of cauliflower
- 5 lbs bag of organic carrots (juicing for Austin)
- Pint of local cherry tomatoes
- 2 blocks raw goat feta
Total money spent: $35-ish
These are my “staples,” and I probably replenish this stash about every 3 days. You’ll notice that I almost always try to buy local or organic– this is very important to me, and I think it’s worth the extra few dollars each trip! Obviously, some trips are more expensive than others, too. Once or twice a month, I usually buy a jar of Paesana marinara sauce, a jar of raw tahini, and there is usually a jar of raw almond butter consumed somewhere in there, too. 😉
Of course, since I don’t buy meat to cook at home, I’m also saving money there… it usually goes towards my raw goat cheese or organic eggs, instead.
How I arrange my fridge also keeps me aware of what we have on hand:
We have a pretty small fridge, so there’s only ONE veggie drawer–> and it’s devoted to “juicing” produce! Austin’s 5 lbs bag of carrots, and my romaine, kale, and lemons all fit in there. When the drawer’s empty, we know exactly what we need!
Our top shelf is usually devoted to salad ingredients, and random condiments:
On this shelf:
- Mixed salad greens (1 box = 3 salads for me)
- Shredded carrots
- Heirloom tomatoes (leftover from our CSA box)
- Raw almond butter
- 3 blocks of raw goat feta
Below that shelf, are my “supplemental” veggies, which tend to vary by week:
- Baby carrots
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Kerrygold butter
- (usually there’s a carton of organic eggs there, too)
- HUGE romaine head (leftover from CSA box)
- Red bell pepper
- Head of Cauliflower
- Jar of raw tahini
As you can see, everything’s in plain sight–> so I don’t forget about some veggie that I need to use!
I think I’ve mentioned this before, but our fridge is a hand-me-down, of a hand-me-down… which saves us money, but comes with sacrifices.
Like, no door shelves. (they fell out!)
But, we know how to make due with what we’ve got:
My “egg” spaces, which still remain in the door, are the perfect holders for ripe avocados! (room for my soft goat cheese and refrigerated probiotics, too)
*I usually have a couple avocados ripening on my counter top, and a few ripe ones ready-to-use in my fridge–> so I’m always prepared for my Choco-Cado milkshakes!!
Our teeny-tiny freezer doesn’t have room for much:
But you can usually find in there:
- Frozen fruit (for smoothies)
- Macaroons!!! (these freeze SO WELL)
- Frozen pesto dinner from Trader Joe’s (emergency dinner for Austin) 😉
- Gluten-free tortillas
- Millet Veggie burgers (I thaw these one at a time for Austin’s dinner)
- Sprouted Grain Buns (for the veggie burgers)
- Green peas (for icing knees, headaches, etc… probably will never eat that bag!)
When it’s fully-stocked, you can barely shut our freezer door…
Having a stocked fridge that’s easy to navigate is KEY to a healthy lifestyle! This system works well for me, and I’d love to hear what works best for you.