grocery bill
Sustainable Living

4 Ways To Shrink Your Grocery Bill by Going Low Waste

Grocery Bills are Increasing

I’m not sure about you, but I dread looking at the budgeted versus actual amount I spend on groceries these days!  Groceries have exploded in price and reviewing my receipts leaves me wondering how I can bring the grocery bill for my weekly shop down.  

It’s a constant struggle for me, the balance between time and budget – when I was on maternity leave I had more time to make things myself to reduce the amount spent in the store on pre-made items.  But since going back to work, the time budget outside of working hours is pretty small, and stretched between too many things.  

grocery bill
Source: Pixabay igorovsyannykov

As a result of this lack of time, my grocery bill tends to climb as I buy pre-made snacks and meal inputs to fill in the areas of the meal plan where I used to cook or bake from scratch.  Also, the amount of waste my household generates as a result of having more pre-made items around increases.  

However, this is why Alison and I created this blog: we wanted to share our sustainable and simple tips for living a less wasteful life, while working within a budget. And so today I thought I’d share some of my favourite grocery bill reducing go-to’s that I’ve been working to re-introduce into my routine.  They don’t take a lot of extra time, they reduce the amount spent at the grocery store, and they are low-waste too!

The Budget-Friendly, Low-Waste Recipes

1. Cooked canned beans (Store price: $1-$3 per can)

Kidney beans, black beans, and chickpeas are some of our favourite legumes, and they’re all available in the bulk aisle of most grocery stores!   By buying them dried and cooking them yourself you can reduce the price to a few cents for the equivalent of a can of beans. It doesn’t require a lot of effort, though it definitely takes a bit of time and planning.  Most beans have to be soaked for a period of time and then cooked (I use a slow cooker so just set it in the morning or overnight), so I generally make a big batch at once and then freeze them in can-sized portions. 

Or, if you have an Instant Pot, they can be cooked on the “Bean” setting more quickly, usually in about an hour.  This is a really easy win, and there are fewer cans in the recycling bin as a result!

grocery bill
Source: Pixabay artverau

2. Bread (Store price: $2-$5 per loaf)

If you can, buy a bread machine!  There are always many available at reasonable prices on Marketplace, local thrift stores – or you could even raid the back of a family member’s pantry (I adopted my family bread machine from the 90’s and it still works great!) It only takes a few minutes (literally!) to throw in the ingredients and hit the start button.  Start the machine at night and you’ll have fresh bread in the morning for less than $1 of ingredients.  Bonus – no plastic bag or tag!

Alternatively, I have made this recipe many times in my grandmother’s old aluminum loaf pans.  Confession: I follow none of the steps properly – just stir everything together, let it rise for a few minutes and throw it into the oven – and it turns out good enough for me!

Another great way to use a bread machine is to make pizza dough!  I throw the ingredients in, prepare using the dough setting, and freeze the dough in balls, or shape and bake to make my own pre-made crusts that can be frozen.  Then it’s a quick meal to pull them out and add toppings and cheese.  I’ve also made mini-pizzas and frozen them for quick lunch prep!

Find this low-waste, budget-friendly recipe here: Easy No-Fail Whole Wheat Bread

grocery bill
Source: Pixabay Couleur

3. Nut milk (Store price: $2-4 per container)

Recently I came across this very easy nut milk recipe and am planning to make the switch!  I had tried soaking and blending my own nut milk previously, but it just wasn’t sustainable for me, and it was just one more thing to figure out what to do with the remaining pulp.  This, however, is simple in that I already have almond butter on hand, so preparing it will just take a few moments to blend with my hand blender (could also use a blender or food processor).  This will reduce my recycling greatly and will cost significantly less than my current favourite brand!

Find this low-waste, budget-friendly recipe here: Nelli’s Easiest Nut Milk Ever

4. Nut-free granola bars (Store price: $4-$6 per box)

I used to do more baking, but somehow taking everything out, using several utensils and mixing bowls, baking pan, mixer – became a lot to pull out, clean, and put away again – so I stopped doing it.  However this week I came across this recipe that requires a food processor for the mixing and one pan to chill the bars – seems do-able to me! 

The only thing is that the ingredients, if you don’t have them on hand, will cost a bit to purchase upfront.  However, the weeks of savings not having to buy granola bars should even things out!  And as a bonus, these bars don’t have boxes or plastic packaging.  Wrap them in parchment paper to go in a packed lunch, and they’re ready to go!

Find this low-waste, budget-friendly recipe here: Lunchbox Apple Oat Bars

grocery bill
Source: Pixabay walterrodriguezph

Interested in more low-waste and budget friendly tips?  Check out these past blog posts!

Easy and Low Waste Meal Planning with Fulfill Shoppe Pantry Staples

Make Your Own Deodorant

Ways Our Lives Became More Sustainable During the Pandemic

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