Home » 9 Reasons Your Grocery Bill Is So High (And How To Lower It) financial bill

9 Reasons Your Grocery Bill Is So High (And How To Lower It) financial bill

Chelsea runs through all the reasons why your grocery shopping is eating up a much bigger portion of your budget than it should, and how to get that spending back under control.

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Based on an article by Maureen McGuinness:

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9 Reasons Your Grocery Bill Is So High (And How To Lower It)

9 Reasons Your Grocery Bill Is So High (And How To Lower It)

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9 Reasons Your Grocery Bill Is So High (And How To Lower It)
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39 thoughts on “9 Reasons Your Grocery Bill Is So High (And How To Lower It) financial bill”

  1. Would you consider doing something on low cost delicious meals – how to find, plan, etc.? I watch a lot of people who do challenges but the food is often not great. I know there are things that people are not doing – like shopping around as it is convenient to1 stop shop for groceries. But when you spoke about back pocket recipes it reminded me of a meal or two that I make that is low cost and delicious. I always have on hand what I need for these (thank you dollar tree gnocchi and Aldi pantry staples!) and everyone I have shared them with love them but I would like more of these and per the comments that I have read there are a lot of younger viewers who might benefit from a video on how to find recipes like this that would help them in a first apartment/tight budget times. I know that when the lock down happened my budget drastically changed and as a result what I was able to afford for food changed.

  2. Overall very good video. I used similar strategies to eat healthier and more cost effectively than many of my classmates in college.
    As someone who has acknowledged her privelege previously I found it lacking that Chelsea didn't acknowledge that the US has the lowest average grocery prices relative to peoples income. Americans not in "food desserts" have an easier time stretching their grocery budgets than any other nationalities in the world.

  3. My back pocket soup recipe is very flexible. I saute diced garlic, onion, and a jalapeno pepper, then add vegetable broth and chopped fresh vegetables. I either add a can of tomatoes with the other vegetables, or at the very end toss in a stick of butter and half a pint or so of heavy cream. Oregano is my go-to herb. The more fresh ingredients, the more wonderful it is. It's a lot of dicing and chopping, but it lasts 3 happy days.

  4. One of our back-pocket recipes is "Curried Leftovers". It's basically whatever we can glean out of the fridge jazzed up with some coconut milk and sambal olek or something of that sort. All of our bones and things like celery tops get turned into soup stock once or twice a month. We do spend a bit more to get local, pasture-raised chicken and eggs and splurged on a quarter of pastured pork last fall. The difference was unbelievable (in the taste as well as the animals' welfare).

  5. One thing that’s helped me is to hold off on buying produce until the day or the day before I make a meal. So many times I’ve gone grocery shopping for meal prep and bought everything all at once only to find out the produce for the meal I wanted to make later in the week rotted in the fridge. I’m a slow eater and I go through leftovers not that quickly so buying fresh produce when I know I’m going to make a meal is so much of a better alternative. I understand mot everyone can afford to go to the grocery store multiple times a week just for one thing but it works for me

  6. I keep a running inventory of everything in my pantry, by food category. I have a menu plan that is basically a bunch of "suggestions" based off what I have in my pantry and the food safety principle: FIFO (First In, First Out) for rotation. That way I only need one or two items per trip in order to complete the list of ingredients needed for the recipes on my menu. I can go a long time in between trips to the store. I keep powdered milk on hand to use in things that don't require fresh milk (saving the fresh milk for my tea, etc.). I keep sour cream handy and substitute it for milk or cream in casseroles, quick breads, etc. As soon as I get my produce home I trim it all up, blanch it (if needed) and get it straight into the freezer to use when convenient. I repackage and freeze the meats right away, too. Because I am pretty strict about FIFO, I rarely have any waste. And with the running inventory for the pantry, I no longer end up with too much of anything because if it's already in the pantry I don't buy it (except for the things you mentioned like sugar that I can never do without, if they happen to be on sale — but even then I keep stockpiling within reason, having only what is in use plus one or two for backup).

  7. My food budget is minimal now, food is fuel you get picky about what you put in the tank your engine is gonna die. I mainly eat, beans, rice, veggies, meat every now and then and pasta etc.

  8. A tip my mom gave me very young was to make sure to clean out/pull everything out of your fridge and cabinets before you go shopping. That way you have touched everything in you kitchen and will know what you actually need.

  9. I wish you would include a disclaimer that says some people need red meat for health purposes such as anemia or other severe low blood count diseases, and that individuals with medical needs should not run to a meatless or low meat diet without consulting a physician.

  10. Variety is a budget killer. Feel free to rotate between 2-3 simple dishes, with a limited budget.

    Sometimes, our current celebrity chef culture, will have us thinking we need to expand our palate. It is not necessary.

  11. My husband and I got SUPER strict around meal planning while we were both at new jobs and in the at delay period while waiting for our first pay checks. £10 per WEEK. After the money started rolling in again we kept it up. Our grocery bills are pretty low now and we have NO food waste at all. I love it. I'm a meal planning evangelist!

  12. Oh my God! I already follow a lot of the advice in this video, but I am frustrated with my mom because she kind of does the opposite. She keeps buying food like she's still feeding 3-4 people and it's just the two of us. She's so obsessed with chasing sales that she spends WAY more money than I do when she shops. She'll make a list, but do all this impulse buying because something is on sale, and end up buying things that we won't eat in time. She thinks we need to be on food stamps because of the way she does grocery shopping, but I stick to staple foods and store brands and spend almost a 1/3 of what she spends. Sorry for the rant, this video just made me think of this.

  13. I’m very fortunate that my parents own a house with pecan & pine trees, a pear tree, wild onions, & dandelions. When I move out these things are definitely going to come in handy

  14. I wish you would talk about nutrient density when shopping for food. While it is certainly true that it can be more expensive to buy meat, it is also providing a spectacular bang for your buck in the quality of the nutrition you are getting for your money … at a much lower calorie load. For instance, 3 oz of ground beef provides roughly 23.4 grams of high quality, complete protein for 215 calories. To get that from quinoa (a high protein grain), you would need to eat 19.5 ounces and about 655 calories. AND to complete it you would have to add some beans, and even then it would not include those amino acids we MUST have that can only be gotten from animal products. I'm not sure the grain/bean route is actually a bargain – in terms of health or in terms of budget. Forage agriculture IS sustainable agriculture. Without the topsoil ruminants produce, we would be forced to rely on fertilizers created from the petroleum industry.

  15. 10: Not drinking tap water. Ok, maybe it's not a good idea in some countries but here in Germany it's the best way to save money. Drink tap water instead of buying it.

  16. ‘I like to cook, but even I don’t want to cook every night’ So me!! I have a random mix of 20ish single serve leftovers in my freezer right now… in a mix of 6-8 dishes. Always have a selection for lunch or dinner ready.

  17. My favorite way to save money on chicken is buying whole chickens (esp on sale/reduced price) and cutting them up myself (breasts, thighs, legs etc) and putting those in ziplocs into the freezer. Then I put the leftover bones/meat into the crock pot with water, salt, 2 tbsp vinegar and set on low for 24-48 hours to make broth. I also make leftover vegetable broth with vegetable scraps. Then I freeze or can the broths in jars ☺️

  18. When my apples begin to get soft, I make applesauce or apple compote (to add to my oatmeal), and surplus berries get made into chia seed jam which is so easy to make. I usually buy frozen berries, but when fresh is needed, I hate wasting them if they start to go bad before I can eat them all.

  19. If you are a foodie I have a No. 8: getting overexcited by recipe ideas and buying too early before actually making the food. Get rid of instant gratification helps a lot.

    Have quick keeper recipes you have mastered and always keep the ingredients in store. You can also have breakfast food like eggs on toast twice a day in a pinch.

    And start planning your meals before shopping from the pantry as a habit. Starting from the pantry is essential. My biggest mistake, by the way.

    Re the apple situation: apples are great in pickled coleslaw. Melissa Clarke's BBQ turkey sandwiches with pickled slaw is a great recipe to start. 😉

  20. I use supercook to understand what i can do with what i already have. Cooking successfully for me is doing a LOT of looking up recipes and scrolling and scrolling (Ex: if I have no mayo but i have potatoes, look up "vegan potato salad"). When i can make something easily thats tasty it's in my bookmarks forever. Gets easier as you add and get better at substituting ingredients.

  21. Watch out if you buy whole meal flour in the tropics – weevils!! Put spares in the freezer and pull it out when you are ready to put it in a container to use. The weevils will be dead. Yes, ALL flour has weevils people. Even organic.

  22. hi from the uk, family of 4, so plenty of fruits and veg here. I really recommand to invest in a slow cooker as you can buy cheaper cuts of meats and because you slow cook it it , it is not tough. also when I do a cauliflower cheese for 4 I do a second one for the freezer and sometime add 2 individual one. I bought few size of pyrex so I can go from freezer to oven. I bought lot of peaches tins and pears one when 35p as around xmas they will go to double the price . basically buy your tinned fruits when in seasons too and keep them for out of season. the other thing I am doing is training the kids and making a folder for each of them with 14 diners receipes for each seasons, easy cheap stapple mostly freezable too and 4/5 pudding one per seasons. teach your kids guys, show them how to portion curry and freeze it and show them batch cooking. the other thing I do is watching for clearing item my last shopping trip I bought quite a few of peppers, cooked them straight away in the oven and added them to coucous salad in theit lunch boxes, to rice diner and pasta and froze some already cooked to add to passata when we have pasta. I really beleve if you invest in few good tupperware, mine are lock and lock it will help. the other thing I buy is those disc that you put in your veg drawer and fruit bowl , they absorbe the methane so the fruits and veg last longer I use ecoegg ones they last 3 months each. educate yourself with food conservation , like washing strawberry with white vinegar may keep them longer /2 days more than just storring the punnet directly in the fridge

  23. Dear Chelsea, I just stumbled upon your channel and I am very impressed. Love your content! However, I can not implement your advice to limit meat. I lost 175 pounds (no, I didn't start at 175# and lose to my current 125#, I started out well over 300# – on my tiny 5'3" frame!). I did it by following a high-protein, high fat keto diet. 

    Nutritionists and doctors universally recommend that I broaden my diet, eat more varied carbs, add some fruit back in. Every single time I've tried to add more carbs, I gain weight, my blood sugar spike dangerously high, and my skin looks like hell. (Sigh) I love to cook and would love to broaden my diet, but that is just not a good idea for me. So, I create "meat pools." I get together with friends, go to a local regenerative farmer, and order an entire beef carcass. We have it butchered to exactly our specifications and divvy it up between us. Net cost: approximately $4 per pound for organic, custom-cut, grass-fed beef. Not a great price for hamburger meat, but jaw-dropping when you consider the roasts, rib-eye steaks, and tenderloin you get out of the deal. 

    The same plan works just as well for pork. I buy a whole New Zealand lamb in a freezer box at Costco when they are available. I also substitute eggs whenever possible (much cheaper) and buy turkeys when they are on sale during the holidays. So, I do what I can to reduce costs. I do all my own food prep (yep, I even make my own mayonnaise and relish) which is always more affordable than pre-made from the store. It is also one hell of a lot healthier – my mayonnaise has egg yolk, avocado oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Have you SEEN the ingredients list on commercial mayonnaise!? It's appalling. 

    The bulk of my vegetables come from my back yard (not possible for city folk, like you, but fun and easy on a quarter-acre suburban lot). I'm stuck going to the supermarket for keto flours, tea, coffee, chocolate, etc. But, I save as much money as is consistent with my health needs. I hope some of these ideas help other viewers.

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