As a senior in college and soon-to-be post-graduate gal in the “real world,” I’ve come to realize the importance of maintaining a healthy and thrifty ritual when it comes to grocery shopping and mealtimes. Since moving into a house last fall with my four other college roommates, we’ve formed a great routine for purchasing and cooking food that not only saves money but also builds healthy habits.
Every Sunday, like today, my roommates and I take a trip to the local Walmart to buy our groceries. Since all of us like to eat healthy meals and share similar tastes, we decided that it would be the cheapest and easiest option to share our weekly groceries and split the total cost evenly at checkout. This method has become a huge money saver. For example, my bill for a whole weeks worth of meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and other household items usually amounts to about $35.00. We eat a LOT of food and usually have a few meals consisting of numerous ingredients, so the cashiers are always impressed by how much money we are able to save. We each separately purchase a few personal items as well, but those bills are obviously dependent on which additional items we each want. I, for example, spend a little bit more than my roommates because I like to get organic fruit, veggies, hummus, and almond butter from The Fresh Market. Since I’m such a foodie, having some organic and fresh food that I can’t get from Walmart is important to me. However, including the additional money I spend at Fresh Market, the price for a week’s worth (and sometimes longer) of groceries is still very reasonable.
Another useful habit that we’ve formed over time is creating a menu, prior to the shopping trip, for the upcoming week’s dinners and ingredients needed for each meal. This easy task makes our weekly shopping trips much more efficient and also gives us (or Pinterest) the ability to come up with healthy and creative meals. Creating a menu ahead of time also ensures that we’ll be eating home-cooked, balanced, and healthy meals every night, which is a rare occurrence for typical college students. Pictured below is last week’s and this upcoming week’s menus. Last week’s menu is obviously the messy one since we cross off every item after we’ve gotten it at the grocery store and this week’s menu is a bit short because we’ll be out of town over the weekend.
Every week, I will be posting pictures of and recipes for my own favorite meals and snacks as well as some of the dinners that my roommates and I have been making as a group. Keep an eye out for my first recipe post in a day or two for one of my favorite dinners we’ve made: Personal Pesto Pita Pizzas!