Many people think that it is too expensive to eat healthy, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right planning and a few little tricks you can get really healthy food for dirt cheap.
We probably all know the tip that you should never go grocery shopping when you are hungry or you will end up coming home with bags full of tasty treats you probably don’t need. But there are other things you can do as well to help make the most of your grocery budget and eat more nutritious foods at the same time.
Plan your meals
A little meal planning goes a long way. Before you hit the grocery store, take inventory of what you already have in your freezer or pantry that you can implement into your meals for the next week. Try to plan your meals around the foods that you already have on hand.
You’ll save money by buying less food, and you will use up the foods you already have so that they don’t go to waste.
Frozen veggies are cheaper than fresh, and they will last longer than fresh as well. Ditto with meat in many cases. You can buy a whole bag of boneless, skinless chicken breasts for much cheaper than what they would cost fresh. Big bags of frozen broccoli or cauliflower are really inexpensive, and all you have to do it heat them up and you have a cheap, healthy side dish.
Meat is more expensive than veggies. By going vegetarian (even if it’s only a couple of times per week) you can save money. You can even keep it interesting by experimenting with trying a different fruit or vegetable once per week that is new and exotic to you. You never know, maybe mustard greens will become a new favorite!
You don’t have to become an extreme couponer to get some great deals at the grocery store. If there is a store you go to regularly make sure you sign up for their rewards card if they have one to get discounts at the checkout. Also check your mail for flyers and coupons for things you normally buy (not new things to waste money on). Keep in mind that many grocery stores will take competitors coupons so don’t be afraid to bring in coupons from other stores.
Cook from scratch
Prepackaged meals tend to be less healthy than meals you prepare from scratch. Instead of paying extra for convenience foods you can save money and have healthier meals if you cook from scratch rather than buy easy to prepare foods from boxes or cans that are full of preservatives. Try out a new recipe once per week, find ones that your like, and keep experimenting in the kitchen.
If you eat meat and notice they are having a sale on meat that is near the expiration date, stock up. You can freeze the meat and save it for later. Ditto for any foods that can be frozen like fruits and veggies.
Buy in bulk
Save money by purchasing dry goods like flour, sugar, coffee and other foods in the bulk section. Pound for pound it’s almost always cheaper than pre-packaged foods.
What tips and tricks do you have for saving money at the grocery store? How do you eat healthy on a budget?