Eating healthy when you’re on a tight budget may seem like an impossible task, but smart shopping can help you eat well for less. Use these 10 tips to save money while making healthy food choices.
1. Plan Your Meals in Advance
Create a weekly meal plan, write a shopping list based on the ingredients for each meal and stick to it. Planning your meals in advance means you’ll spend less time in the grocery store and buy only the groceries you need.
2. Eat Before You Shop
Avoid shopping for groceries when you’re hungry. Studies show that people who shop when they’re hungry are more prone to making impulse purchases. Have a snack before shopping to curb your hunger pangs and avoid making unhealthy food choices.
3. Choose Frozen Fruit and Vegetables over Fresh
Frozen fruit and vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh varieties and tend to be much cheaper, too. They also cut down on waste because you know they’ll still be fresh when you need them. When shopping for frozen fruits and vegetables, look for packages marked with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) U.S. Grade A shield.
4. Buy Dairy Produce in Bulk
Products like cheese, yogurt and milk can be frozen and stored for several months, so take advantage of bulk buy offers and store any extra in your freezer. When freezing milk, remember to remove some of the milk from the container to allow for expansion during freezing.
5. Buy Cheaper Cuts of Meat
Choose cheaper cuts of meat, such as chicken drumsticks or thighs over chicken breast. Dark meat contains more fat than white meat, but it provides more vitamins and minerals. Consider using a butcher when you need specific amounts or cuts of meat. Buying from a butcher is often cheaper and less wasteful than buying prepackaged meat from a grocery store.
6. Choose Canned Fish Over Fresh
Canned oily fish, such as salmon and sardines, can be cheaper than fresh. They are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep your heart healthy, and have a long shelf life. Choose varieties that are packed in spring water to avoid added salt.
7. Make Pulses a Staple
Pulses, such as beans, peas and lentils, are a low-fat source of protein and fiber and often cost far less than meat and fish. Add them to soups, casseroles and meat sauces for extra flavor and texture.
8. Scan the Shelves for Lower-Cost Items
Most stores offer their own brand and economy products, which are often cheaper than premium brands. Stores often stock the priciest items at or just below eye level, so scan the upper and lower shelves for lower-cost items.
9. Shop Near to Closing Time
Most supermarkets discount perishable produce toward the end of the day, so if you time your grocery shopping right, you could save money. Any produce you don’t plan to use right away can be frozen and defrosted as required.
10. Use the FindnSave.com
Use FindnSave.com to save money and time. Not only does it help you find deals, you can browse weekly ads to see what’s on sale at stores near your current location. You can also create shopping lists, then access your list from you mobile phone while out shopping.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to cost a lot. Making a few simple changes to the way you shop and cook can go a long way toward helping you save money on your grocery bill.