Although my income has increased slightly since finishing undergrad, there are still financial limitations of being a graduate student. These limitations are noticed in my grocery budget. I am always trying to get as much healthy food for my $1 as possible.
Thankfully, with spring fast approaching, produce sales have been more prevalent. Last time I went through the circular to plan my trip, I was surprised by the number of produce items on sale for the 10 for $10 (with the 11th for free) sale. Often these sales feature heavily processed foods that I usually don’t eat (yes on occasion I grab the blue box macaroni).
Not only was produce on sale, but so was whole grain pasta (which I prefer to the its enriched counterpart).
While I’m not a pro at shopping on a budget, there are a few things I’ve learned.
- Check BOTH the local circular and your cabinets as you make your list, keep in mind your calendar and the amount of food you will likely consume (I tend to overbuy when there are good sales but then it often spoils before I use it)
- Make and stick to a list, I like to include a budget goal when I shop based on the cost of the items on the list
- Strive for the 80-20 rule: 80% of your cart is healthful items and the remaining 20% is foods you enjoy