Saturday, August 4, 2012

Save Money on Food with Your Grocery Budget Toolbox – Review and Giveaway

By Jennifer

As a family of 6 that strives to eat a whole foods diet, our grocery bill is usually quite high. We spend around $800-$1000 a month on food. Most of what I buy is organic and I try to buy mainly pastured animal products. All of that can certainly add up to receipt shock at the checkout line. So when I was approached about reviewing Your Grocery Budget Toolbox e-book, I gladly agreed, hoping to learn some smart grocery store tips which would allow me to spend less on our food.

Your Grocery Budget Toolbox was written by Anne Simpson, the blogger behind Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy (soon to be revamped into Authentic Simplicity). I have long enjoyed her posts as she seems to have a food philosophy similar to mine – whole and unprocessed foods as close to the way God intended as possible.

Who is this book for?

People with a limited amount to spend on foods
People who have problems staying within their food budget
People who want to incorporate more healthy foods into their diet without spending a fortune.
Your Grocery Budget Toolbox was a fairly quick read for its size. I thought the information was well presented and organized. I have a lot of money saving blogs in my reader, but even still there was a lot of new-to-me information in the book.

Information that Your Grocery Budget Toolbox includes

Setting up and sticking to a food budget
Creating a price book
Other resources for healthy foods besides the supermarket
Once a month grocery shopping
Setting price caps
Using coupons
Make your own recipes
Gardening as a way of extending your budget
Preserving food
Tips for using it up rather than throwing it out
Saving in the digital age
Printables for setting up a budget, creating a price book, meal planning, and more
The thing that impressed me the most about this book was that it centered around ways to afford healthy foods. We have all seen the extreme couponing shows and heard stories of people getting hundreds of dollars worth of groceries for next to nothing. If you look closely at what these people are purchasing though, it is nearly always processed, unhealthy foods. I don’t know about you, but this is not the type of food I want to serve my family.

One of my fears before starting to read this book was that it would focus entirely on couponing. I was very pleased that this was not the case. Couponing is certainly mentioned, but it is not the entire focus. Couponing is just not my thing. With the types of foods I buy, I just haven’t found it to be a worthwhile expenditure of my time. I have to say though, I am definitely going to check out some of Anne’s sources for coupons for healthier foods. Maybe I will change my mind

While couponing may not be for me, there are quite a lot of Anne’s suggestions that I do want to implement – for example making a price book and giving once a month shopping a try. I have read about price books in the past, but never thought they would be worth my time. After reading Anne’s information on creating a price book, I am inspired to create my own. I am blessed with an abundance of stores in this area that sell organics and natural food. However, I generally stick with my Kroger Marketplace, because it is right up the road. It will be interesting to see how much I can save by comparing prices at Trader Joes and local bulk food and health food shops.

I found Your Grocery Budget Toolbox to be very encouraging. There was nothing in there that I couldn’t put into practice. Anne encourages her readers to do the best within their means. If you can’t afford everything now, do the best you can. A little in terms of organics and humanely raised animals is better than none at all. It can be discouraging to realize how expensive whole foods are when you are first switching over to a healthier diet. I thought Anne’s approach was exactly what most people need to keep from getting overwhelmed.

Your Grocery Budget Toolbox was chock-full of information, tips, and ideas to help you save money. I found myself taking lots of notes as I read – things I want to put into practice or tips I want to remember. All-in-all, it’s 156 pages of great advice for anyone who wants, or needs, to cut down on the amount they spend on food. This book is well worth the small cost if you are serious about saving money at the grocery store.

If you would like your own copy of the book, you can purchase it directly from Anne’s website – Your Grocery Budget Toolbox. It is available in Kindle or Nook format. You can also get it in a PDF. At just $4.99, it’s a great bargain!

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