It is a common misconception that healthy eating has to be expensive. I’ve been budget grocery shopping for 8 years now and have been able to provide my family with healthy foods at a low price. Here are some tips for saving money on healthy groceries.
By eating better, you will feel better. To eat healthy, you don’t have to buy all kinds of expensive flours, out of season produce or expensive meats. Sticking to the basics of beans, whole-grains, low-fat dairy, vegetables and fruits will be your best bet.
1. HAVE YOUR LIST READY
To help stop impulse purchases, make a list of the items that you need and stick to it. It is easy to feel like you need that bag of chips but skip it and stick to healthy, whole foods.
2. SHOP THE SALES
Check your weekly grocery ad and buy the items that are on sale that week. There is always a section of fresh produce that is on sale as well as a natural foods section- check those for deals.
3. EAT LOCAL AND IN SEASON PRODUCE
Buy items that are in season like peaches, strawberries, and cherries in the summer. Or in the fall, squash, pumpkin and root vegetables. The items that are local and in season are usually quite a bit cheaper than out of season and imported produce.
4. CLIP COUPONS
There are tons of coupons that come in the local paper each week or print some online. Clip the coupons for items that you normally buy to help save money. Healthy examples include canned beans, whole-grain breads and pastas, low-sodium tomatoes, tuna and more.
5. SKIP MEAT ONE NIGHT A WEEK
Meat is expensive and by eating one vegetarian meal a week, you can save a lot of money. Some great options are black bean tacos or vegetarian lasagna. If you are willing to eat vegetarian more often than that, go ahead and do so. It will be easier on your wallet and your waistline. Meat can be high in cholesterol and saturated fat. Eating vegetarian will make it easier to eat healthier.
6. AVOID PURCHASES AT CHECKOUT
Not only are the foods at checkout high in fat, sugar and sodium but they also are overpriced. Items like chips are packaged in small containers and overall cost much more than a larger bag.
7. STOCK UP ON SALE ITEMS
When your favorite items go on sale, buy extra so that when it isn’t on sale, you still have enough from last time to get you through until the next sale. A great example is canned beans. When low-sodium canned beans are $.50 instead of $1.00, buy enough to get you through the next sale.
8. BE FLEXIBLE ON BRANDS
Be willing to try the store brand. Often it’s cheaper than the name brand. Did you know that many times, a name brand company makes the store brand product? Try and see if you like it! The nutrition content is usually the same as well.
9. TAKE INVENTORY ON WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE
Before shopping, look at what you already have to avoid buying doubles of items. If you already have balsamic vinegar that is $5.00 a bottle, you don’t need any more and you will save yourself some money.
10. BUY WHOLE PRODCE INSTEAD OF PRE-CUT
In the grocery store, they now sell pre-cut items like melon, tomatoes, pineapple, etc. These items are much more expensive than the whole ones. Take a few minutes to chop and prep items yourself to save money.
Check the article of healthy eating is affordable by our editor Avi Woolman.