Shopping for healthy food can be expensive especially when you’re working on a budget. However, it is still possible to enjoy balanced nutritious meals without breaking the bank.
Here are 11 clever tips to help you eat healthy while staying on budget:
Plan your meals beforehand. Spare a few minutes every weekend making meal plans for the coming week. Then scan your fridge and pantry, take an inventory of the ingredients you’ll need and come up with a grocery list.
Stick to your shopping list. Once you’ve figured out the items you need, hit the store with your list on hand to avoid getting sidetracked. Work systematically through it, checking things off as you go.
Don’t shop on an empty stomach. Shopping on an empty stomach is the fastest way to fill your cart with tempting budget-blowing impulse buys. So grab a healthy snack before heading to the store.
Hunt for bargains. Using coupons and keeping an eye out for store discounts can save you tons of cash. For even greater savings, combine digital and paper coupons and don’t forget to ask for weekly specials.
Buy in bulk. Dry goods, whole grains, nuts, legumes and flour are often cheaper when bought in bulk. The trick is to limit yourself to only buying the amount that you can use before it goes bad.
Waste nothing. Throwing food away or leaving it to go bad translates to flushing money down the drain. So learn to freeze food, use leftovers to prepare new meals and pay attention to expiry dates.
Keep it local. Local farmers markets are a fantastic place to get fresh healthy produce at pocket-friendly prices. Consider going there at the end of the day and you could score great deals as farmers clear their stuff.
Flow/shop with the seasons. Another excellent way to keep your financial resolutions this year while still eating healthy is to buy produce that’s in season. You can make nice savings by shopping seasonally then freezing the food for later use.
Buy more whole foods. You’ll be surprised to find that some foods like oats, brown rice or cheese are cheaper in less processed forms. Processed foods usually have a high sugar content anyway so eating more whole foods is one way to reduce sugar in your diet.
Purchase store brands. Several stores stock generic brands for most products. These are often cheaper than national brands but are still of the same quality. Do read the labels though to ensure you’re getting good quality products with the healthiest ingredients.
Embrace comparison shopping. There are great savings to be had if you’re willing to put in the time to shop smart by comparing product prices at different stores as well as unit prices of similar items.
Put these tips into practice next time you go shopping and you’ll stretch your dollar without compromising on healthy eating.