Eating green can sometimes get a little expensive. There are so many new things to try, recipes to experiment with…and not to mention fancy new stuff like quinoa and chia seeds that you probably want to play with too. Looking at your bill at the grocery store can send a chill of fear and/or regret if you’ve recently been inspired to try something new. But it doesn’t always have to be that way. There are countless different techniques you can employ to cut down on spending your hard earned dough.

Try giving some of these money-saving tips a whirl to see if it helps to keep both you and your wallet full. And isn’t that really the best feeling of all: knowing you’ve saved some cash and will have some delicious food as soon as you take it out of your reusable bag! Here are some tips for saving some green when you’re eating green:

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1. Coupons

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It’s not just for your mom anymore. Sunday papers, producers’ websites, coupon-specific sites, and in-store deals are all the rage and have tons of free, printable coupons you can get your hands on. Try using these at your local grocery store and see how much you can save on basics and things that don’t spoil. Check and see if your local market has a double coupon day too! Stock up while the price is low and your wallet will thank you.

2. Haggle

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Farmers’ markets are a great way to get locally grown produce and find a bargain. Most seem to have slightly higher prices than a chain grocery store, but there’s always room to negotiate. If you’re loyal to a certain stand at the market, they may even start tossing extra goodies in for free! Why yes, I would like some organic lettuce for my salad today.

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3. Buy in bulk

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Consider buying things in bulk that you will always need while skipping the pricey tag at local markets. Pastas, non-dairy milks, dry snacks, and condiments all have a long shelf life and won’t spoil if it takes you a while to work through them. The membership can sometimes be steep, but after a few trips, it becomes well worth it. Do a comparison-shopping trip and see how much you save.

4. Have a chop day

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After lugging your haul of fresh fruits and vegetables home with you, finding places to stash it can sometimes be a bit of a problem. Instead of cramming it into your fridge in the most haphazard way possible, which may lead to waste (and therefore money lost), invest in some containers and spend some time chopping. Cut up your purchases; store what you need for the next few days in the fridge, and the rest in the freezer. It may take a little time, but think of how much it will save each time you cook; also, there will be less waste because things won’t go bad. Save yourself the trouble of buying things twice because you didn’t get to that zucchini in time.

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5. Plan your meals

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Before heading off to the market for the week, plan out a rough estimate of the meals you’ll consume. This will help to cut down on over spending and buying unnecessary items. Take inventory of what you have, and supplement. Each trip does not have to be so costly. Often, you have tons of options in the fridge and cupboard that just need a little something extra. Here are some additional tips for making quick and healthy vegan meals at home.

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Leave a comment with some other tips you’ve picked up along the way to help out those spending too much money on food. Go forth, Green Monsters. Go forth and SAVE!

Lead image source: Save Money / Flickr