Eating healthy food doesn’t have to break the bank. Fortunately, with careful planning and smart shopping techniques, there is no reason why eating a healthy diet should cost a lot more than your previous way of eating. There are many ways to lower your grocery bills and still eat well. Here are 15 top tips to stretch your grocery dollars while for eating a healthy and delicious food.
1. Plan Before You Shop
This part of the system can make a difference on your budget. Sit down and plan before you make the trip to the grocery store. Plan out each week’s meal or cooking so that you have several meals built around similar ingredients. When you know ahead of time what meal you will be preparing for the week, and have a plan for leftovers you will spend less money at the grocery store.
2. Cut the junk
Evaluate how much you spend on items such as cookies, crackers, soda, processed foods and prepackaged meals. Limit or completely avoid these unhealthy foods. You will be pleasantly surprised when you see how much money you save, and how healthier you feel.
3. Eat out less
Cut down on eating out, and you can save a lot of money. This will enable you to save money for other necessities, and even have some extra to splurge on higher quality foods.
4. Avoid Impulse Buying
Stick to your grocery list. Write out a list of essential items and buy only those items on your list. The more prepared you’re when you go to the grocery store the less impulse purchases you’ll make. Start with with healthy whole foods so that you will have less room for junk foods, and thus save money.
5. Buy Raw Ingredients
It’s cheaper to purchase raw ingredients and prepare food yourself than purchasing pre-packaged food items. Pre-packaged meals and other food items are tempting to buy, and can cost a lot of money. The more food you make at home, the more money you will save. You can obtain recipes online for meals and snacks, and as an added bonus, if you are familiar with all the ingredients, and you can avoid unhealthy additives and preservatives.
6. Get Down to Basics
Purchase ingredients that are versatile so you can be use them for different types of dishes. For example, instead of buying lots of spices that you might use only once, get the basics like fresh garlic, all-season salt, onion powder, curry paste, seasoning, and any other items that can be used for many dishes. It is a good idea to get a go-to fat like better coconut oil, or olive oil, and use that for the dishes you prepare.
7. Buy Frozen Vegetables
Don’t hesitate to use frozen vegetables, as they have a long shelf life, and can be used in many different dishes. For people who tolerate starches, sweet potatoes and white potatoes are cheap and filling, so they are a great choice.
8. Share Your Food
Purchasing food for one individual, or even one family, can be very expensive. And, most people don’t have space in their home to purchase food in bulk. In this case sharing food purchases with other individuals or families can help you keep costs down. There are several different ways to share food costs with other people. To save money on produce you can join a group of health-minded and cost-conscious friends to buy in bulk, at a local farm. The more food items you share with relatives, neighbors, and friends, the more money you will save.
9. Shop Seasonally, Shop Locally
When your local farmers’ market offers abundant kale, tomatoes, butternut squash, stock up. Then freeze, can, or dry any items you can’t use right away. It will save you significantly. Buying directly from local or neighborhood growers allows you to pay less per unit — and you’ll also contribute to improving your local economy.
10. Cut Out Nonessential Items
Determine if you’re purchasing anything that is unnecessary – fancy ingredients you use only one time for an extravagant recipe, and cut it out. Don’t spend excessive amounts of money on useless food products. Examine your food spending and try to identify any nonessential splurges that are costing you too much money.
11. Avoid Unnecessary Items
Purchase a good quality water bottle or reusable mug, and fill them up when you leave the house. Eat real food instead of expensive nutritional supplements and protein powders. Don’t splurge on these items that you don’t have to get.
12. Skip the Filet Mignon
A great way to save significantly on animal foods is buying cheaper cuts of meat like chuck roast and brisket. These are not only nutritious, they are also some of the most delicious and tender cuts of meat when the right cooking method is used. Many who cannot otherwise afford pastured-meat are able to afford these cuts pastured. Organ meats, such as heart and liver, are also nutrient dense and are often inexpensive. The enormous nutritional benefit that these unpopular cuts provide will make a huge difference in your health.
13. Shop Discount Stores
Club or Warehouse stores like Sam’s and Costco offer great bargains. Make sure you only buy what you will use. These stores often offer huge bargains on seasonal produce, as well as foods such as reduced-fat cheese and boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
14. Cook in Bulk
Cooking large batches of meals saves both money and time. For people who live alone, it gets very expensive trying to purchase single-serve food items, and buying in bulk can result in food waste. That’s why cooking in bulk and saving the leftovers is a great idea and can be very helpful for individuals cooking for just one or two people. You can make multiple servings of a meal like stew or soup, and freeze it for use at some other time. In addition to saving time with with cooking later, you can also use the ingredients you have purchased in bulk and not have to deal with food spoilage.
15. Educate Yourself
To save money while eating healthy, you need to know which vegetables and fruits have high levels of chemical residue and which ones have low levels. You can decide to purchase certain foods organic, and others conventionally grown. Also, it is important to know that protein is a vital aspect of a healthy diet, so you need to learn to make a few adjustments to your diet so that you can save money and still have plenty of protein in your diet.
It takes a little practice and effort to become a budget-conscious person, but it becomes second nature to you very quickly once you start. There are many ways to eat healthy on a budget. If you plan well and use some smart shopping techniques, you can eat healthily, even on a budget. Use these top tips for saving money when eating a healthy diet.