Enter your name and email to download the freshly minted Now Decide to Thrive….Time to buy more grocery list, now included with the Vegetarian to Vegan in a Snap guide! We can hear the “oohs” and “ahs” already. You’re motivated and raring to go shopping.
WAIT! We want to offer a few tips to help you avoid some common mistakes and help you save some big bucks!!
Mistake #1: You don’t pace yourself.
Enthusiasm takes over and you end up with too many veggies and fruits in the fridge. What happens? You get tied up at work. You’re invited to a last minute party. For one reason or another, you haven’t cooked much this week, opening your fridge at the end of the week to find that your once fresh veggies have wilted from neglect.
Solution:Plan ahead. How many nights will you be home this week to cook? Then choose only those ingredients for the entrée and side dishes you plan to prepare. You are embarking on a whole-food, plant-based adventure. There’s plenty of time to ogle new veggies.
Mistake #2: You purchase too many unfamiliar ingredients.
Temptation strikes to outfit your kitchen with the very best vegan ingredients. Before you know it, your grocery bill has exceeded its limit. And then, you find yourself short on the basics like beans, grains, veggies, and fresh fruits to eat.
Solution:Get to know unfamiliar ingredients slowly, choosing recipes with common ingredients. Think about the purpose of each ingredient in your recipe (moisture, binding, texture, etc.) and its flavor profile. Soon, you will find yourself creating fabulous meals without recipes.
Mistake #3: Buying too much of one item before you’re sure that you really like it. When this happens, your kitchen can quickly become overcrowded with ingredients you’ll never use, but don’t want to throw out because you spent your hard-earned money on them.
Solution:Buy one item or a small package to taste. If you love it, you can buy the most economical size later. You don’t save money with a cupboard full of unused items. NOTE: Ask your grocer! Some stores will even let you sample an item without purchasing, if you don’t happen to like it after tasting.
Mistake #4: You get carried away (especially in produce) and buy too many types of veggies, fruits, legumes, and grains. This can lead to feeling overwhelmed, trying to prepare too many different foods within a short time.
Solution:This week, decide on broccoli and brown rice. When you run out, replace them with quinoa and bok choy. This allows you to get comfortable using one ingredient in various recipes.
For example: You purchase two packages of tofu. You use one package to make a tofu scramble for breakfast. It’s good to have leftovers! The second package, you marinate and bake. One half you eat for dinner and the other gets tucked into a pita sandwich for lunch the next day. Focusing on just one or two new ingredients per week opens the way for inspiration and more fun in the kitchen.
Mistake #5: You purchase too many new ingredients before using up your old ingredients.
Solution:Replace ingredients at your normal pace. For example: You are running out of soy sauce. A higher quality replacement would be to purchase low sodium tamari sauce. You can gradually upgrade your pantry without breaking the bank.
$$$ Bonus Tip: Beware the abundance of those alluring processed vegan foods.
Processing of foods, vegan or not, reduces the nutritional density and other inherent beneficial qualities.
Also, processed foods often contain too much fat, sugar, and salt, the very components we want to limit.
Processed foods are usually more expensive.
There you have it! Shop wisely.
As always, thank you for reading.
Did you like this post? If so, please share with your friends and family.
Spread the word. Do you have any of your own money saving grocery-shopping tips you’d like to share?
Add your thoughts, tips, and ideas below. Thank you!