15 Clever Ways to Watch Your Grocery Budget

A common objection to eating whole foods and even buying organic instead of conventional is the burden these changes place on the pocketbook. Families in particular can find that making healthy upgrades feels cost prohibitive. Adding fiscal stress while trying to promote wellness is certainly not the goal, so while making these upgrades to your life try out some of these practical ways to shop smarter.

1. Check out discounted and online stores.

Costco: This chain of stores is leading the way in the bulk organics market. A stroll through Costco can provide healthy choices from meats, to fruits, and dried foods.

Thrive Market: An online store that functions like Costco in that they require an annual fee for membership. However, this fee is well worth it. Thrive provides natural, organic products for up to 50% off what you would pay in store.

Grassland Beef: This company supports local farmers across the country. It provides grass fed, organic meats that are extremely high quality. Although not cheap, they have regular sales and all items are frozen for easy freezer storage.

2. Bulk sections and bulk websites.

In a similar manner, regardless of where you shop, always look at the bulk foods section. Nuts can be found for less than the same ones sitting in packages nearby. The same goes for dried fruit and an entire array of foods. When looking for body care products in particular, I often purchase from online bulk websites. For instance, shea butter is quite expensive on the shelf, but a quick google search will reveal bulk prices that are far more manageable. Similarly, the lotion I purchase is available directly from the seller's website and is provided in bulk sizes that stores do not offer.

3. Fresh produce is really not more expensive than packaged foods

Next time you shop, make a circle around the circumference of the store before going last to the center aisles where all the pre-made food is. Processed foods have built into them the cost of processing, handling, and trademark recipes. They also have a hidden cost as many processed foods are high in sugar and additives which disrupt blood sugar levels, impact brain chemistry, and ultimately make you eat more and feel hungry more often, which equals more grocery costs.

4. Don't believe the marketing gods.

I once purchased a cleaning product for everything: glass cleaner, floor cleaner, toilet cleaner, shower cleaner, and on and on. Cleaning products are not only expensive and typically filled with toxic ingredients, they simply aren't necessary most of the time. I now clean my entire house with four basic products: vinegar, baking soda, Bronner's liquid soap, and essential oils. My bank balance and my body both love it.

5. Make a grocery list and stick to it.

6. Buy store brand items over name brand.

7. Learn to read price labels to compare "per ounce" cost between items.