When it comes to eating healthy, most people think it’s impossible when they’re on a tight budget. I’m here to share with you exactly how to shop and eat healthy while keeping your grocery bill low. I promise you eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive and you’ll get the most bang for your buck. Sure, it would be amazing to eat only organic food, free range eggs and meats, but for now let’s keep it simple and stick with whole foods and eating in season for saving money. Check out these 7 money-saving tips and strategies below:
1. Start by setting your weekly or monthly budget for food and stick to it!
This may involve a little extra work by reviewing all of your expenses but set up your budget and stay consistent. Keep track of your spending by reviewing your online banking or keep a physical notebook in your pocket.
2. Take an inventory at home and set up your meal plan
This will be your grocery list. Make sure you know what you already have in your cupboards that can be eaten or used in a recipe. You’d be surprised what might still be hanging around in your cupboards for example; flours and cans of beans – you can make your own bread, cookies and soups with these! Decide on the meals you want to eat for the week, a quick Google search will give you hundreds of healthy recipes so you can buy your ingredients accordingly.
3. Keep on top of the weekly sales at your grocery store
Most grocery stores send out flyers or they have their sales listed online. Review this before you shop and plan accordingly. If you have coupons then be sure to make use of those too. Perhaps with the money you save from coupons you can apply that money to any outstanding loans and debt even if it’s just a few dollars (this is will be whole other article).
4. Buy in bulk
Try buying your staple foods in bulk such as oats, rice and beans. You’re more likely to save money in the long-run because of a larger purchase at a discount. If there happens to be a bulk food store in your area shop there to save money on packaging and a brand name.
5. Stick to whole foods rather than processed foods
Your whole food choices are going to be the healthier and more nutrient-dense choices. Whole foods are actually less expensive than buying boxes or packages of processed food that provide little to no nutritional value. Why spend $4 on a box of a few sugary snack bars when you can spend $4 and get a bag of several apples or a big 10 lb bag of potatoes?
Here is a list of a few inexpensive whole food options:
Oats, rice, potatoes, dried lentils, beans, bananas, fresh bagged spinach, frozen vegetables and berries
6. Look for the sale rack or discounted items
Most grocery stores will have these special racks for produce that no longer “look” as pretty and they will be marked down in price. If there isn’t any mold on the fruit or veggies it’s still fine to eat! Also consider finding out when the store gets their delivery of produce and meats so you can shop the evening before and maximize on all the discounted items. Just be sure to cook or freeze any meats right away because they are more than likely close to their best before date.
7. Buy fruits and veggies with the seasons and freeze the extras
Seasonal fruits and vegetables are usually less expensive than the fruits and vegetables that are not in season. Local produce especially at your nearest farmer’s market is going to be the least expensive. Remember, we need to eat fruits and vegetables for good health and energy – they are loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that protect our cells. Freeze any leftovers you have before anything goes bad and needs to be thrown out.
In summary, eating healthy on a tight budget doesn’t have to be difficult. It takes a little bit of planning ahead with smart shopping strategies and you will be successful – your body will thank you too!