Save big on healthy groceries and eat better!
Groceries are expensive, especially these days, when many of us are struggling to make ends meet and food prices continue to rise. Fortunately, there are many ways to save money on your grocery bill without giving up on your desire to eat healthier.
- Have a Plan – Make a list before you shop. Plan your weekly menu or list a few main dishes that you can eat throughout the week. This will not only save you money, but also time and fuel by making less store trips throughout the week.
- Eat Before you Shop – Shopping on an empty stomach will only make you buy junk food you don’t need. Have a good protein and/or fiber rich snack before your trip or doing.
- Shop Alone – Sometimes this just isn’t possible, but if you can shop alone, you’ll be able to focus on finding the best deals and taking as much time as you need to make it through the store. Plus you will stick to your list and no one will ask for things that are not on it.
- Bring a Calculator – Sometimes the largest container of something isn’t actually the best deal. Unless you like to do long division in your head, consider toting a pocket calculator when you head to the store.
- Buy Generic – Held to the same standards as name-brand versions, store-brand products are usually just as good, and less expensive. In no time you will feel the savings on your grocery bill.
- Buy Whole Foods – The less processed food is, the cheaper it is per serving. Apples may cost less than applesauce or apple juice. Canned black beans will be cheaper than re-fried beans. A block of cheese costs less than shredded cheese and so on.
- Make Smart Substitutions – Think about what you eat, and then think about what may be a cheaper at equally healthy substitute. Like breakfast cereal? Oatmeal is usually cheaper than other kinds. Love soda? Try sparkling water with a little fruit juice mixed in. Snack on chips? Pop some popcorn kernels on your stove top instead.
- Don’t Get Stuck – Packaged foods have been condensed, salted, refined, sweetened, or otherwise processed. They may seem like a good deal, providing more calories for less money, but those calories usually aren’t very nutritious. Resist the lure of the middle aisles and stick to the perimeter of the grocery store. You’ll save money and wind up with bags full of whole foods.
- Buy in Bulk – Long a staple of natural food stores, bulk or bag and weigh sections are now appearing in traditional stores. Items like flour, beans, rice, nuts, and dried fruits are available for less than prepackaged versions of the same foods.
- Read Ads and Clip Coupons – Take advantage of these deals when you see them, but remember, a good deal is only good if it’s on something you’d normally buy, not just something you’re buying because it’s on sale.
- Get Your Protein from Foods Other than Meat – Try substituting one meat meal per week with a vegetarian meal to save money and benefit your health. Beans, eggs, and tofu all provide high-quality protein for a fraction of the cost of meat.
- Eat Seasonally – Seasonal produce costs less, thanks to the law of supply and demand. You might miss having tomatoes in the heart of winter, but the fresh, perfect tomatoes of summer taste better, cost less and are more nutritious.
- Pack your Lunch – Packing your own lunch, snacks, drinks and other meals are usually less expensive and healthier than eating out. It will require more planning, but the dollars you save will be worth your time in the end.
- Make it Yourself – You can make it from healthier ingredients and spend less.
- Have a Garden – Plants are cheap, and seeds are even cheaper. Plus you will love growing your own fruits, veggies and herbs.