Healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive! But you do have to shop smarter. Below are some tried and true ways to keep healthy food on your plate without blowing your budget.
Buy In Bulk
Buying in bulk has always been a popular way to cut costs. Granted, you need to actually use the items, and you need space to store them. If you hit both of those marks, you could save quite the bundle by buying healthy food items in bulk. Costco and Sam’s Club both have healthy items available. Whole Foods is almost entirely healthy bulk items. Depending on where you live, you might even have a bulk food store where you bring in your own jars and bags, further cutting your cost.
Try Out New Services
There is a greater push for affordable, healthy food options. While grocery stores are trying to shift and provide them, there’s only so much room on a shelf. Newer ways of shopping have had to be explored, and some are worth you looking into! Read Thrive Market user reviews for example, services such as Thrive Market can save you money on healthy groceries. Although many of these services have a subscription or delivery fee, there is such a discount on the items that they offer that you wind up saving money in the end. You’ll also discover brands and items that most stores don’t carry!
Cook Your Own Food
There is a growing market of prepackaged snacks and box meals that check off many healthy eating boxes, and they’re great to have in a pinch. But those items are costly. To eat healthy on a budget, you need to do the bulk of the cooking yourself. Individual ingredients cost less than convenience. When shopping, try to stick to the perimeter of the store, where the produce, meat counter, and dairy coolers are. In general, the further you go into the grocery store aisles, the higher your total will be at checkout.
You don’t have to become one of those passionate couponers, but it pays – or rather, saves! – to take a few pages out of their book. Meat, in particular, is a more expensive item, especially if you prefer your meat to be grown and processed certain ways. But meat goes on big sales all of the time! Wait for a sale, and then buy as much ground beef or whole chickens as your freezer space allows. It could very well tie you over until the next sale happens. The same is true for canned beans or frozen produce. They go on sale frequently and are easy to store for long periods of time, so why not bulk up your pantry on the cheap?
Stay In Season
Produce costs can vary tremendously. Berries that are a couple of bucks in the summer are well over $5 in the winter. Produce that you see in stores outside of their growing season were likely picked way early so that they could ripen during the longer transit, and they simply won’t taste as good or be as nutrient-dense. And they cost more! Try to stick to buying produce within their growing season, and go frozen otherwise. Frozen produce is picked at the peak of ripeness and then flash frozen – no nutrient loss there!
You’ve heard it time and time again, and yes, it is more work at the onset, but planning your meals at least a week if not a month at a time will save you big. The less you have to run to the grocery store, the more money you’ll save. And having a plan for every night decreases the likelihood of eating out in a pinch.