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Break the bank!
This can easily be done if money is no object.
For me it certainly is not though.
Money is this formidable, overwhelming object that taunts me.
Is it the same for you?
With this list you can taunt back:
Sign up for Newsletters
Many of the latest healthy supermarkets have email lists and apps that can remind you of the latest deals and sales.
Google Play Store allows you to download helpful apps to aide you in shopping at Aldi, Whole Foods, Kroger, Walmart, and more. Utilizing each app for price comparisons can help you to comprise a budget worthy shopping list.
The most notable email newsletters that I receive are are from The Fresh Market.
Personally I like the newsletter from Fresh Market the best due to it’s overall appearance, budget friendliness, and hi-tech appeal.
The newsletter is not sent too frequently and highlights only a few key items instead of overwhelming you with a lot of options like a typical ad.
Joining the email list for The Fresh Market happened upon my very first shopping experience. My choice of an email receipt led me to opt-in to future emails. A pleasant surprise came shortly afterward when I was then emailed a coupon for $10 off a $50 purchase to be used within the following week.
Shopping at The Fresh Market has been a nice experience for me, the store is smaller and feels more intimate than other shopping centers. There is an inviting atmosphere that surrounds you with evocative products that makes shopping there worth while.
Coupons periodically within The Fresh Market emails, usually in the amount of $10 savings for different purchase amounts. Sales announcements are usually provided as deals off of different types of wild seafood and grass fed meat products. These notifications are most helpful when you are ready to splurge on something different to eat while on Autoimmune Protocol.
Though weary of potential future security concerns, I do find my email correspondence from the Fresh Market to be a super convenient option and feel a sense of enjoyment having an electronic connection to the store.
Note Expiration Dates
The bigger the supermarket the more predictable their sale strategies are. This tip may already be in use for even regular store meats, but regardless I feel this is important to note anyway.
At large chains such as Walmart or Kroger I have found it easier to catch better deals if I return a day or two before or even exactly on the “Sell By” date marked on the item.
Whole Foods is somewhat less predictable for me, most likely because I am there less often, but also possibly because the selection is on smaller scale due to the quality measures that they have on their product stock.
For Whole Foods and Fresh Market I leave room for about $25.00 in my budget for spur of the moment purchases whenever I see items randomly go on sale.
Buy Family Pack
Aldi is the most notable store that I keep track of in regards to their Family Value Pack of their Grass Fed Ground Beef.
Where I am currently Aldi is the cheapest price that i can find on grass fed ground beef at approximately $5.24/lb.
In the case of the Family Value Pack of their Grass Fed Ground Beef, you receive the price of approximately $4.49/lb which provides an overall savings of $0.75/lb which can add up.
Aldi does not have an email newsletter but it does have online ads on their US website where you can find deals for your local area.
Keeping track of the Aldi online ad not only notifies me of when the Family Pack of Grass Fed Ground Beef goes on sale but also when they have seasonal wild caught seafood in stock for their “Special Buy” program.
Browse To Catch Deals
Even if I am running to the store for a few set things I still tend to browse the meat & seafood sections of the supermarket before I go.
At Whole Foods the new products that have yet to have a set location on a shelf in their proper aisle are usually put on sale. This being the case with products that have a reasonable shelf life such as plantain chips.
Recently at Whole Foods I discovered a new brand called Barnana that features a wavy cut of plantain chips.
If I was not leisurely making my way through the store then I would have never encountered this new brand at a great deal.
Bargains can be frequently found online, though usually one must put forth an effort in order to find them, However if you physically go into a store you can encounter a lot of hidden gems that have just been shown the light of day.
Healthier products are often not price matched.
This is understandable because of the smaller amount of stock stores tend to carry.
Though it can present a challenge it is often best to know about the merits of each individual store that you shop at.
You can easily tell the merits that I find in each store by reading my shopping lists.
It is only going to be beneficial for you as well to compose your own shopping lists that cater to your individual needs of healthy eating.
Merits relate to:
Any store can have the cheapest price but is that item still fresh, edible and constantly available?
Take avocados for example.
As mentioned in my shopping list I absolutely do not got to Aldi for Avocados. Anywhere else is usually better. The Avocados at my local Aldi used to be excellent but now they are often old, bruised, and stringy. Though those Avocados are cheaper, it is extremely difficult to find one that will met my standards.
Kroger however often has Avocados on sale, not too often as it is when they are super ripe at those times, but their Avocado consistently has little to no strings or bruises.
Though Kroger often has pricier produce, they do occasionally put their produce on sale for $0.99 that has been re-bagged due to the original bag breaking. Though it is a steep discount the majority of the items in the re-bagged product are still reasonably fresh.
Cook Consistent Recipes
There was a special news report that I saw many years ago where a mother stuck to a consistent budget and saved thousands every year on groceries.
Her family ate the same recipes nearly every week.
The mother would rotate it so that they would have chicken some days and beef on others, though there was no fish and little produce in her meal plan, the overall regimen seemed nutritious enough according to typical meal standards.
The same can be done with autoimmune protocol.
My recipes are made extremely simple for a reason:
What is the level of consistency?
If something is difficult it is human nature to shy away from it. When it comes to healthy eating you want to keep things mostly the same, but at the same time simple enough to change things up.
Fancy recipes with nearly a dozen of ingredients are great if you have the time or occasion to make them.
There are countless blogs and cookbooks that feature decadent recipes with interesting ingredients.
Extravagant recipes are inventive and can be extremely useful if you feel like eating something different or looking to make something impressive, this blog however is focused on the everyday.
Stockpile Herbs & Seasonings
Another merit worthy opportunity that I give to each supermarket is in the area of spices and seasonings.
In order to gauge this I ask:
Do they have fresh herbs?
How good do they look?
Is it organic?
The current merit worth supermarkets that I personally prefer are Kroger, Walmart, and Aldi.
Check out my shopping lists in order to compare the different options that each store provides.
The budget friendly part is up to you.
Dried spices seldom ever go on sale but fresh herbs often do.
Plan accordingly for when you want to cook each recipe, and if you intend to have it with fresh herbs, look for discounted ones as soon as they go on sale,
I suggest you thoroughly examine the fresh herbs through the packaging to make sure that there is not too much that is old or rotten, one or two stems are okay but if it is more than 15% bad I usually pass on buying it.
See What’s Local
As previously stated I have a local seafood salesman that sets up tent down the road from where I live.
The stand has a newsletter that I am subscribed to which helps me to price compare in advance with the supermarkets.
Sometimes the products are higher because items such as shrimp are peeled and deveined while most supermarkets only offer peeled.
It is tougher to find a sale for local seafood but there is often the option to buy in bulk, which will come at a discount offered by most sellers.
Another benefit of the local seafood seller is the access you will have to a better variety of recently frozen fish and crustacean that are in season.
There is one place that I came across when I was traveling in Georgia called “The Shell Shack” that offers local fish and crustacean wholesale. The products were straight from the ocean and the nearby freshwater lake. I met the owner and her prices were a phenomenally good deal.
Local seafood stands are pretty much my fast food since I have developed the habit of eating fish and crustacean raw. This has made traveling surprisingly more fun because I brake whenever I see a “local” food sign.
Eating raw fish and shellfish does put me at risk for getting sick. Most product has been previously frozen or well iced, which helps to kill parasites and bacteria, however that does not mean it is always safe.
Remember: Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness.
Local produce of course will most often be at a cheaper price compared to supermarkets and are often grown organically. Buying from those stands supports your local farmers and discounts on bulk purchases are frequently offered too.
Stock Seasonal & Out of Season Items
As mentioned before, Aldi has “special buys” every other month that features a type of seafood that is currently in season. The price is usually cheaper compared to larger supermarkets due to their extensive cost cutting measures.
Large supermarkets do have there merits when it comes to seasonal items as well though, often when it comes to the unfrozen seafood section with the fish filet that have packed in a styrofoam tray and plastic wrap.
The individualized or pair of packaged filet are usually cheaper when initially offered or when they are close to the “sell by” date.
Keeping track of what is “in season” will help you to catch what is about to go “out of season”
The seafood selection offered behind the glass often goes on sale as well when there is a seasonal rotation of the stock, so be sure to keep track of that in order to purchase just before the new seasonal stock comes in to get a decent deal.
You do not have to go to the store every single day, but going as often as you can helps.
If you are like me you run into the store quite often for quick things that you can only buy when they are immediately ripe like mango or avocados.
Whenever I make those quick trips I tend to linger to see what might be on sale that day. I may not be able to purchase anything else but there is always a chance to note when something tends to go on sale the more often you see it.
As noted before, Kroger has the re-bagged items for $0.99 which in my area is typically in the best shape during the middle weekdays from Tuesday to Thursday.
Typically the dead times are:
9 am-11 am
1 pm-2 pm
10 pm-12 am
Dead times at a store are also a good time to get first pick because you never know if someone walked around the whole store with the item and later put it back.
Being there at dead time allows for you to be able to ask the staff about the products in order to make sure that the item adheres to autoimmune protocol.
Visiting your supermarkets often will be essential when you first begin autoimmune protocol but know that you do not have to keep this up forever.
Once you get used to the sales trends of your store, you can be able to plan and budget accordingly without needing to be there nearly as much.
Ready to get started?
Check out my shopping lists and recipes to begin your game plan!
Join my newsletter today to see the latest info and deals that I find!
My honest and fair review was provided without any sponsorship by Fresh Market, Kroger, Walmart, Whole Foods, and Aldi for this post.