Every regular grocery shopper knows that food prices are rising. This can put a lot of financial strain on people and families who are trying to eat healthier. It is a common misconception that you have to spend more money if you want to eat better. This is not always true. For example, a 5 pound bag of potatoes can cost about the same as a bag of potato chips! But you will be spending more if you are buying the chips than the potatoes.
- Make a Shopping List- Avoid one item trips to the store that waste time and gas. Fewer trips also mean less impulse buys which are usually more expensive and you probably don’t need them anyway!
- Proper Portions- Serve smaller portions of more expensive items like meats and cheeses. Not only will this help you control your weight, but it will help stretch your food dollar.
- Plan Your Menus Around Sales- Don’t throw away those store ads you get in the mail or in your newspaper. They can be very helpful for saving money and pre-planning.
- Stock Up- Buy canned and frozen foods, cereals, and even meats when they are on sale. Wrap meats in a freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Don’t Get Coupon Crazy- Only use coupons for the items that you normally buy or are on your shopping list. It may seem like a good deal, but it’s a total waste if it just sits on your pantry shelf.
- High Nutrition / Low Food Costs - Use low cost protein sources like beans, lentils, peanut butter, eggs, canned salmon or tuna instead of pricier meats. Starches like potatoes, oats, brown rice and barley offer big nutrition with a small price tag.
- Grow Your Own- It is surprisingly easy (and cheap) to grow your own food! Many garden centers have lots of food plants and offer sage advice. If your thumb is less than green, start off with easy plants like herbs and tomatoes.
- Convenience Equals Paying More- The more “processed” a food is, the more you will pay for it. For example, a whole cut-up chicken will cost more than a whole chicken that is not cut-up. The same goes for cut-up fruits, bagged lettuce, pre-sliced cheese, etc.
Do you have more tips for how to save money while eating healthy? If so, please leave them for us and our readers in the comments below. Happy (healthy) shopping!