6 ways to save money on your grocery bill by making healthier choices

I used to think it was soooo expensive to eat healthy! Just 3 years ago I was spending $200 or more a week on groceries for my husband and I. Now I spend $100 a week for our family of 4. Yes, one of those 4 happens to be a baby, but I have to eat like a horse to breastfeed her so she counts! How do I manage to get enough food to feed my 6'2" husband, my food wasting toddler, and my ravenous breastfeeding self? Well it doesn't include clipping coupons, I'm simply too lazy for that.

1. Shop the sales.

Every grocery store has in store ads for that week. Unless I am planning a specific meal or having a craving for something, the majority of my cart consists of sales. The best part about shopping the sales is finding an item I wouldn't normally cook with for a killer price. I am forced to get out of my comfort zone and cook with something new and fun!

2. Know the prices in your area and set limits.

For example, I will not buy grapes or asparagus if they are over $2 a pound. I know that the majority of the time asparagus is $3.99 a pound but that it does drop to $2 or less a handful of times during the year, at those times I have asparagus weekly until the price goes back up.

3. Don't over buy

Every week as I am checking out I look in my cart and think, "this isn't enough food" ... well it always is! Don't fill your cart fuller just because you are afraid it looks too empty. The extra food will either go to waste, or it will be unnecessary calories you consume while snacking.

4. Stay away from the aisles

I have a few staple items that I get within the aisles of the store. I know what those items are and I go directly for them, purposefully avoiding everything else. Believe it or not, those boxed and bagged items found within the aisles are far more expensive than the fresh items found around the perimeter of the store. Some of the items I have on my list regularly are organic whole wheat pasta, organic blue corn tortilla chips, salsa, canned tuna fish or chicken, almond butter, raw nuts, organic shredded coconut, and whole wheat bread. I make a beeline for those items and try to stay clear of everything else. Not only are boxed, canned, and bagged items more expensive, they are also heavily processed and full of ingredients that provide no benefit for the body.

5. Buy local

In the summers we have fruit stands, farmers markets, and local farms that sell numerous fresh whole foods! I buy a lot of my produce items at the fruit stands, raw milk from a local farmer, fresh pastured eggs from a nice lady with a hobby farm, and grass fed beef from a another local farm. All three of those farm foods are much cheaper than their in store equivalents. Buying local can definitely save money!

6. When the end of the week approaches, get creative!

You know that day before grocery shopping day? Your fridge and pantry seem empty. Well, in my experience they are never completely empty. Get creative and make a dish using those few items that have been shoved into the corners for too long, simply because they were forgotten about or maybe you didn't know what to do with them. Pinterest is your best friend for random recipes! Don't go to the store earlier and earlier every week just because you think you have to. There is food in the house, you just have to prepare it!

Well there you have it, my simple steps to keeping my grocery bill under $100 for my family of 4. I hope some of these can help you make healthier choices while saving your hard earned money!