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12 Sep Saving Time With Char: Shopping on a Shoe String, Plant-Strong Style!

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Saving Time with Char

Screen Shot 2013-09-08 at 10.27.50 PM

Shopping on a Shoe String, Plant Strong Style

I was listening to a talk show the other day, and the conversion was about the “expense of eating healthy.”  I wanted to jump into the television and let Whoopi know that I disagreed with her.  The myth that prevails about the expense of eating healthy is just that, a myth.  When you compare the price of a bag of brown rice to a piece of animal protein…the rice wins, hands down.

For many years, I led tours at local grocery stores that focused on saving money while you shop.  I have taken those tips, and streamlined them to meet the structure of being plant strong.

Here are a few tips which I think will help you cruise the aisles with confidence, and more money in your pocket!

Shopping Tips

-Plan a weekly menu of what you will eat.  From that menu, you draw your shopping list.

-Make a list and stick to it!  Simple as that.  Do not allow yourself to become in awe over a shopping display of neatly organized cans of something you do not eat. “Never leave home without a list.”

-Visit the bulk area.  You can get everything you need from beans, dried fruit, vinegars,  spices, and even nut butters.  What I like about the bulk area is that you get what you only need, and there is little waste.  When you are not paying for packaging and other incidentals, the cost of any product is generally reduced.  Always check the “unit” price to measure the best bargain.

-Buy by the case.  If you are at a Whole Foods Market® they generously offer a discount of 10% of all case purchases.  That is a great savings.  If you do not think you can use an entire case, share it with a friend or neighbor.

-Use coupons.  There are enough circulars in the world to surf for coupons for things that you use.  The reality is that you only use coupons for items you truly use.  If you are a shopper at WFM, their “Whole Deals” coupon booklet is amazing!  You can also find manufacturer’s coupons at the website of your favorite product.

-Buy produce that is in season.  Whether you hit the local farm stand or the supermarket, buy seasonal.

-Review and study sale fliers.  You save time doing this, because the majority of items are things that do not cross your plant strong lips.

-Buy private label or generic.  HUGE savings on things like cereals, canned vegetables, condiments, etc.

-March is “Frozen Food Month,” many stores have HUGE sales. Since we use lots of veggies, might be a good time to stock up.

-If you buy in bulk, then cook in bulk.  Making your favorite plant strong dish.  Storing it in a plastic container ready for the freezer is perfect sense for making delicious foods.  You’ll always have something at the ready for dinner.

-Plant a garden.  I do not have a green thumb, but I do have an herb garden.  I snip my heart away and add fresh herbs to many dishes.  Herb plants pay for themselves almost overnight.

Lastly, if you are going shopping?  Eat before you go!  Shopping on a full stomach with a list in your hand will keep your checkout total at an all time low.

How do you save money while shopping?  I spend $400 a month on groceries for me and my husband.  We eat well.  Loads of veggies, pasta dishes, rich salads, and more.

Lettuce hear from you!


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Char Nolan for Engine 2
Char Nolan

Char Nolan is a blog contributor and Engine 2 Extra Coach. She's been plant-strong for almost five years. From Philadelphia, she works in the plant-based whole foods arena, and is also the "vegan features writer," for the "Town Dish." She's lost a great deal of weight from being plant-strong, practices yoga, and is always dabbling in her kitchen to create new, plant-strong recipes. Armed with a degree in public health, Char also holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from e-Cornell.

  • Heather Sadler
    Posted at 11:38h, 12 September

    Great tips Char. It is so true – the rice is cheaper than the animal protein. Think of the price of cheese, yogurt, organic eggs, fancy virgin olive oil etc etc. Compare that with a plant strong shopping list and no money spent on medication etc, there’s no contest. besides – we’re worth it! The other good part about eating food in season is that it is much more eco-friendly. Also…I freeze this year’s harvest from the farmer’s market for winter – just like my Mom used to – much cheaper and also good for the local farmer!

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