This past week we shopped our Stop & Shop weekly menu to demonstrate how easy it is to eat healthy and not spend a fortune on groceries. We’re often asked how our plans save our members money while still eating high quality food. One of the most common comments we hear is “eating healthy is expensive”. It can be, but it certainly doesn’t have to be.
It is possible to eat well, even on a strict food budget. It all starts with the plan. Our plans incorporate your store weekly specials, is well thought out, uses recipes the kids will eat, and makes use of simple, healthy, and tasty recipes.
Here a snap shot of the Weekly Menu and Shopping List we used for Stop & Shop: This is the Everything plan, meaning no food restrictions:
And here is the bounty of food we bought for these five healthy dinners:
The Cost of these 5 Dinners? $78.89, or about $15 per dinner, or $3 per person!
This is achievable every single week of the year! We know because we have been planning healthy dinners for less cost for the past 4 years. We create plans with simple recipes, without complicated or expensive ingredients, AND customize the plan around the key store specials and provide links to coupons. As you can see from the shopping list above, the main meals are based meats on sale (seafood, chicken breast tenders, boneless chicken thighs etc) and we use the discounts in as many dairy, produce, and grocery items as we can. In reality, the cost per meal/per person is in reality LOWER since there are often enough for leftovers for lunch or another dinner. We easily get 6 meals out of this weeknight dinner plan, resulting in a more accurate cost of just $2.60 per person, per dinner. Think about that…under $3 per dinner! How can you beat that?
How we use Coupons to save a bit more:
After we create a meal plan, we then do a customized coupon search for items on the shopping list and make use of coupons whenever it makes sense. Note that last point….”whenever it makes sense”. It does not always make sense. Our approach: we do the planning first, produce a delicious and healthy menu that is cost effective based on store specials, create the shopping list, THEN see if there are any available coupons for items right on the shopping list. The coupons do not drive the list. Also, the coupon might result in real savings, but sometimes the store brand or an in store special might be the better buy.
Here are the coupons that came with our Stop & Shop plan this week that we printed and took to the store with us, a total of $6.35!
So next time you are looking at your food budget (and good for you if you actually look at this number) and wondering how you can reign in those costs, try following our approach above. You will not only lower your spend at the register, but will have more peaceful and healthier family dinners every night of the week.