Save Money at the Grocery Store – Avoid the Pre-mades

pre-made-sandwichMy wife and I are doing our best to lose some weight and start eating better. It was a little challenging at first – but we’re finally catching on. Bad eating habits can be tough to break!

One thing we’ve been doing to eat healthier is to shop more of the whole foods – less of the processed stuff. I’ve eaten pretty crappy for so long, that it’s taken me a little while to adjust to these foods that are actually BETTER. But, they’re growing on me.

While we’ve been spending a little more time at the grocery stores – I have noticed some items that we are trying to stay away from – and that’s the pre-made foods. You know, the wrapped up sandwiches, packaged pizzas, ready-to-eat microwave buffalo wings? We’ve all bought 'em I'm sure.

According to an article online I came across, grocery stores mark these bad-boys up as much as 40%. Yowser! Now that’s a decent profit margin.

Most of the time, we buy these items because they are saving us time – NOT because they are healthy for us or they’re going to save us money. It’s a priority thing.

So, to combat buying any more of the pre-made foods, here are a few things I have been buying and making of late that is actually saving us some bling. Consider this your first and last recipe post here at TTG:

  • Bean/rice burritos
    These are so easy to make. And, I love em because they remind me of the burritos at Qdoba (which is far better than Chipotle, mind you). All you need to do is purchase a package of flour tortillas, some rice, black beans (guess these have more protein than other beans) and some lettuce. Feel free to use whatever condiments you prefer. I like to dash a little bit of Tabasco, sour cream and cheese on em too. I think I could eat these every day if I had to.
  • Turkey sandwich
    Forget those pre-wrapped ones at the store! You can easily put yours together and make it healthy too. I like some deli meat, lettuce and a slice or two of monterey jack cheese in between two pieces of whole wheat bread (not for the gluten-free!) Need more calories? Deck it out with some butter or mayo.
  • Salads
    I’ve also been on a salad kick of late. You can pretty much throw anything in these and call it good. I prefer a mix of greens, including some baby spinach, carrots and cucumbers (the wife and I love those). Sprinkle some of your favorite dressing and your good to go. Once and awhile I splurge with some bacon-bits!
  • Smoothies
    I’m sure you’ve seen or heard about this movie: Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Bout a guy who decides to lose weight by juicing his food and in the process gets rid of some of his ailments. Pretty good documentary. While I don’t necessarily recommend the full juicing diet (according to my wife, it takes out a lot of the fiber you need) – I do love a good smoothie. You can load those things up with all sorts of goodness and pretty much have a complete meal.  One that I like is a smoothie with berries (including strawberries, some milk (or rice milk) water and dash or two of stevia (a sugar substitute that is better for you).

So, next time you’re at the store – join me and avoid the pre-mades! Go whole foods instead and create your own meal in a matter of minutes. You’re likely to save a few bucks as well as keep your innards happy.

Any other recipes/healthy eats you have discovered lately?

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  1. The problem is I love pre made foods! They’re just so convenient! But I know you’re right, and I’ll try to eat more turkey sandwiches. :)

    • Haha – I know John, it’s tough to get away from ’em. :)

  2. With the smoothies, I just learned that you can add veggies too! At first I balked…”YEAH RIGHT! GROSS!” It is very hard to tell that the veggies are even in there. For a person who’s just starting out, try adding half of a cucumber, 1-2 cups of fresh spinach and a couple of tbsp. of psyllium husk fiber (all organic of course). You can also add half of a frozen banana (but don’t make the mistake that I did and throw the whole banana in the freezer without peeling and cutting it up first)! :)

    I’ve heard: “But eating healthy costs too much”, or “eating organic is just too expensive and takes too much time”. This is probably true when someone is just a baby in the change process. What I’ve learned, give it time! Let your body detox off of the refined and processed CRAP. While you’re doing so, increase your cooking and knowledge repertoire! My response to these comments? YOU CAN PAY FOR IT NOW (in an increased grocery bill for the short term and increased time spent)…OR YOU CAN PAY FOR IT LATER (increased time and money spent visiting the doctor and the pharmacy and time lost from work due to chronic disease and illness)!!!

    Peace to you and your family and all of the readers out there who are trying to make improvements in their individual and/or collective health and wellness!!

  3. These are all great ideas of quick and easy meals. We do the burrito thing pretty often but we add chicken strips as well. As for the pre-made sandwiches, I tend to avoid those because they always put a thick, fatty sauce on it that doesn’t taste good at all. I love making my own sandwiches and being creative with it.

    • Ryan – Chicken strips would be a great addition.
      AJ – Pay now or pay later is so true!

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