Sticking to your budget & eating healthy
There are many ways to save money when it comes to grocery shopping. You don’t have to sacrifice your budget for eating healthy when you plan before you shop, purchase the items at the best price, and preparing meals that stretch your food dollars.
Back to the basics. We are used to having pre-packaged convenience foods that are pre-cooked, cut and instant. These items might save time, but they also cost a lot more money. Take the time to prepare your own food, you can save by chopping your own produce or prepping meat yourself.
Plan, plan, plan! Before you head to the grocery store, plan your meals for the week. Find items that you can buy on sale and use in multiple recipes. Shop only for the items you need to prepare those meals. Make extra for leftovers in your meal plan, and be realistic about how many nights you might eat out or be too busy to cook. Not only does this strategy cut down on the amount of food you buy at the grocery store, but it also decreases the amount of food you waste.
Get the best price. Check the weekly ads for coupons. Ask about a loyalty card for extra savings at stores where you shop. Look for specials or sales on meat and seafood and other expensive items on your list. Use the unit price to compare different brands and different sizes of the same brand to determine which is more economical.
Buy in bulk. It is almost always cheaper to buy foods in bulk. Smart choices are family packs of chicken, steak, or fish and larger bags of potatoes and frozen vegetables. Before you shop, remember to check if you have enough freezer space.
Buy in season. Buying fruits and vegetables in season can lower the cost and add to the freshness! If you are not going to use them all right away, buy some that still need time to ripen. Buy frozen or canned fruits and veggies, these have the same health benefits as fresh but often cost less.
Eat more meatless meals. Meat tends to be the most expensive item in recipes. Try making one or two vegetarian dinners a week to cut costs. Recipes based on items like rice, whole grains, beans are a great source of protein. These dishes can be filling and inexpensive. Add seasonal produce for crunch, freshness, and color.
These tips can help you stick to your healthy eating goals without breaking the bank. By planning ahead you, can make small changes to your habits and work towards a balanced diet and a balanced bank account.