When I made the decision to start eating healthier about a year ago, one of the first thoughts that ran through my mind was "this is going to be too expensive" to maintain. But that's not the case. Before I even started purchasing healthier items, I eliminated soda, chips, and candy. Right there, I was already saving myself money.
Here are some ways to shop for healthier foods without breaking the bank:
1. Look for weekly specials and have a meal plan. Look at grocery store ads to find the best deals and plan your weekly meals accordingly. Make a grocery list of the items you need and stick to that list while shopping (the hardest one for me to do).
2. Buy generic products. Generic products usually offer the same nutrition, and at half the price!
3. Be careful with coupons! Only use coupons for items that you would normally purchase. I used to struggle with this one a lot. Stocking up on foods that you don't normally eat will not be saving you money...at all. You think that because you can get 10 yogurts for $10 is a good deal but do you eat yogurt on a regular basic? If not, it's probably not your wisest decision.
4. Look high and low. Stores purposely put the most expensive, and sometimes the least healthiest items on the shelves that are at eye level. Be sure to check out the shelves that are also above AND below for better deals and healthier options.
5. Never shop on an empty stomach. People tend to put more food in the grocery cart when they are shopping hungry. Also keep snacks with you to avoid buying food when out running errands.
6. Buy in bulk. Non-perishable items can be purchased in bulk which will also save you money.
7. Choose frozen or canned fruits and veggies. If fresh product is too expensive or you are concerned that you won't eat it before it spoils, buy canned fruits (canned in its own juices) or frozen fruits and veggies.
So what are some items that I recommend to be healthier alternatives and also budget friendly?
- Brown rice
- Whole grain pasta
- Whole grain bread
- Low sodium soups
- Non-fat or low-fat milk
- Block cheese (grate or slice at home to save money)
- Lean ground beef