Whether you are about to start your first 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge or you’re a seasoned pro, we’ve got 15 tips to save money on your grocery shop (and who doesn’t love that!?)
One of the things many mums love about the Challenge is the shopping list which is automatically generated from the meal plans. However we have had a lot of feedback from mums asking for ideas for how to ensure they don’t have a budget blow out.
Today we have some real, specific, doable tips that you can implement to save yourself some cash at the register.
1. Swap the protein
There’s no need to be super strict with the meat or protein source that you use in recipes such as stir-fries, wraps, salads or soups. This recipe for 15 Minute Healthy Chicken Satay Salad Tacos uses chicken but you could easily substitute beef, pork or even tofu. Stock up on what is on special.
2. Read the catalogues
Keep an eye on the specials in your local supermarket catalogues and stock up when your favourite products are on sale. You could use the specials to help shape your meal plan for the week.
3. Go veggie
Many meals contain meat, and a great way to save money is to reduce your meat intake. Feel free to remove the meat and add tofu, lentils or chickpeas instead. Plenty of traditional recipes can be changed in this way and still remain delicious. The 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge recipe hub has loads of vegetarian meals, like this delish super simple vegetarian chilli.
4. Bulk up
When you see items on sale that you use regularly, stock up if you have room to store it. It might be ground almonds, walnuts, flour, oats, almond milk, whatever you need, buy it when it’s cheap!
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If a recipe calls for a specific ingredient that you don’t have, don’t rush out and buy it right away if you don’t think you will use it again. Choose another option from the menu or switch it out for an alternative.
6. Double up
There’s no need to cook a different meal for every lunch and dinner. Save money and time by cooking double one night and using the leftovers for another meal (or freeze to use later). Meals like Chilli Con Carne and Spaghetti Bolognese are perfect for this.
7. Use what you have
Get creative! If a recipe calls for a dollop of sour cream (that you don’t have at home) but you do have Greek yogurt, don’t rush out to buy the sour cream. Many products can be switched for other alternatives. Your confidence will grow as you keep cooking and enjoying the food you prepare.
8. Shop online
This is a great way to visually see your bill tally up before you part with your cash. If you need to, you can cull a few items to ensure you come in under budget.
9. Avoid buying too much
If you regularly find yourself tossing certain foods in the bin that have gone bad, rethink how much of it you are buying. For instance you might only need a small amount of baby leaf spinach so you could buy a handful of it loose instead of in a large bag.
Need a few tablespoons of breadcrumbs for a burger patty recipe but don’t have any to hand? Look around the pantry and see if you can find something else. You could whizz up some rolled oats or Weetabix in the food processor instead.
11. Watch your portions
Be sure not to cook too much if you will end up tossing it in the bin. Things like porridge, rice and pasta are very easy to prepare far too much of. Just keep an eye on the dry product as you’re popping into the saucepan and note that it will expand as it cooks. Write down how much rice or pasta you used when you had just the right amount – so that you can use that amount next time.
12. Have an easy night
A great way to save cash is to have one night a week for a super thrifty meal. Think marmite and avocado on toast; or a jacket potato with kidney beans and pesto.
13. Avoid pre-prepared foods
Items that have been grated/chopped/sliced tend to cost more than the original item would. For instance, grated cheese costs more than block cheese. Sliced mushrooms cost more than whole ones. It all adds up!
14. Package your own snacks
Instead of buying snacks for yourself or the kids in packets, buy a larger serve and package up your own in small tubs. Think popcorn, pretzels, sultanas. You could even try making up a healthy trail mix to pop in school bags or your handbag for work.
15. Use your leftover smoothies
If you made too much smoothie, pop the leftovers into an ice lolly mould for a tasty treat for the next day.
Our28 Day Weight Loss Challenge is a family-friendly, breastfeeding-safe program designed FOR MUMS to help them tackle their health and lose the baby weight.
Every week you are given a different meal plan to follow and each month we add NEW recipes to our Challenge Recipe Hub. That way, you’ll never get bored and stay on weight loss track while digging into healthy, yummy recipes.