Most foods claiming they are better for you as they are healthier tend to cost more money. Those working on a tight budget when entering the grocery store may find it a struggle to purchase those healthier foods. Planning to stock up on those foods may even feel utterly impossible.
It doesn’t have to be that way. There are ways to eat healthy at a reasonable cost. This list will show you those possibilities and will also show you how to eat healthy on a budget.
Planning is Essential
Before you enter the grocery store, you should have a plan on what your upcoming meals are going to be, and what foods you need. Planning is essential if you are looking to save money on your grocery bill. Make sure you buy only what you need by checking amounts and sizes of products so you don’t end up throwing away excess amounts.
Buy Only Items on the List
Grocery stores are set up to sway you into buying what you didn’t plan for. When you allow their displays to distract you there is a good chance you will leave with items you didn’t plan for and end up with a bill higher than expected. Two useful methods for shopping on a budget are to shop the perimeter of the store and use an app to keep track of your grocery items needed. The perimeter will have the more of the whole foods you need. An app is a perfect way to make sure your list doesn’t get left at home.
There are a lot of foods you can turn into healthy meals and still remain within your budget. A lot of these will cost you less than $1 per serving.
- Eggs are an excellent source of protein and are also quick to prepare. Scrambling some vegetables into your eggs and turn them into a frittata, crepe, or one of many other delicious meals.
- Chicken breasts are cheaper and healthier than other cuts of meat. They will also provide you a great source of lean protein. You will find hundreds of recipes showing you how to prepare great meals with chicken breasts.
- Oats can be purchased in bulk where they will only cost you approximately $1 per pound. Oats are low in fat, high in fiber, and will help lower your cholesterol.
- Canned Salmon may not give you that same great flavor as fresh but are a much lower cost purchase. Canned Salmon costs approximately $.20 an ounce and can be turned into great tasting salmon burgers.
- Yogurt is a fantastic breakfast choice and will only cost you $1 for a six-ounce cup. Yogurt will provide you a great supply of protein and calcium. Flavored varieties will cost more and contain sugar so you will want to flavor your plain variety more naturally with fruit.
Prepare Big Meals and have Leftovers
When you plan the meals you are going to make for the week, plan to cook more than you will eat in one meal. By cooking larger meals and having leftovers, you create additional meals for yourself. Leftovers can be frozen for future meals, provide you a lunch at work, or even be used as part of other meals for the week.
Never Shop Hungry
If you go to the grocery store when you’re hungry there is a big chance you’ll buy more than you need. When you are hungry, you are much more prone to impulse buy and end up with a higher grocery bill than you wanted. Simply eat a piece of fruit or a cup of yogurt before you set out to shop.
Whole foods are cheaper than processed forms. Buying a block of cheese will cost you less than a bag of cheese already shredded for you. Rice and oats cost less than most of the processed cereals. The whole food sections will also offer you larger quantities than the processed aisles and will give you more servings per package.
Frozen Vegetables and Fruits
When fruits are in season, they usually go up in price. Fresh fruits and vegetables, in general, will cost you more than the frozen versions. Frozen veggies and fruits are generally just as beneficial for you with their nutrients and work great in cooking or as toppings.
Online retailers are now offering healthy foods for as much as 50% less than what you can find in the store. When you register with them, they will inform you of any discounts, sales, or special offers for the week through your email. You benefit by buying only what you need, having them delivered to your door, and often paying less.
These are some of the top tips to help you buy and eat healthy while still staying on a budget. When you make smart choices, stick to your planned list of needs, and remember junk food costs more and gives less, you will be on your way to buying smarter and healthier.