If you have food allergies or intolerances, there is a chance you will spend more money on groceries than others who do not suffer from restrictions. I have lived with food allergies and restrictions all of my life. However, for Joe, this lifestyle is still very new to him. He has quickly learned that my allergy-friendly brands tend to be a tad bit more expensive.
It was a work in progress, but we have learned a few tips and tricks along the way that has saved us money during our food shopping trips. Follow along and try these tips to start cutting costs on your food bill!
1. Shop organic for selected produce. There are certain fruits and vegetables you should always buy organic. These include ones you would eat the entirety of, such as berries, apples, spinach, etc.
However, if the fruit or vegetable has skin that will be disregarded or has a peel, you can get away without having to purchase as organic, only if you feel comfortable doing so. Foods with a built-in outer layer, such as bananas, oranges, avocados, onions, etc, have a skin or peel that will protect the actual produce from pesticides.
2. Buy seasonal. For the lowest price in produce, buy fruits and vegetables that are in season. The less your groceries had to travel before getting into your cart, the less the cost will be on your receipt. Ultimately, in-season produce also tastes much better!
3. When necessary, shop online. Grocery shopping online has become very easy and is an effective way to stay on top of the price tag. There are multiple online markets available that you can order from or you can choose to shop straight from your favorite manufacturer.
Enjoy some of our favorite shops, selected links* including a discount code for you:
4. Buy in bulk. Generally, buying in bulk is very cost-efficient. This tip also applies to our food too. Any of the listed manufactures above offer great bulk discounts and free shipping for orders over a certain amount. Additionally, many wholesalers, such as Costco, have loads of great food-allergy friendly products available in their warehouses!
5. Plan your food shopping trip. It is good to get into the habit of planning out your grocery list prior to going food shopping. Create a list of items you need, this way you ensure you are not overbuying.
Joe and I created a shared list on Google Keep that we update as needed. If we notice we are running low or out of something, one of us will add it right away (so we don't forget). We also try to figure out what it is we want to cook for the week and add ingredients we will need to make that dish.
Then, the night before we go shopping, we check our local circulars to see if anything we need is on sale at which store or search for coupons. We use Ibotta for digital coupons(Referral Code: buxlidn), as well as checking the manufacturer's website for printable coupons.
6. Buy generic. As long as the ingredients still work for you, store-brand versions of organic/food allergy-friendly items will be cheaper than other brands.
7. Buy local. This bullet point goes hand-in-hand with buying seasonal; the less your groceries had to travel, the less money they will cost. Go to your local farmer’s market or local farm and shop your produce there. Some farmer’s markets cut down the price towards the end of the day, since they do not want to bring the food back home to the farm.
8. Don't go food shopping hungry. This last tip universally applies! You will overbuy unnecessary snacks if you go hungry. We have been there and done that!