“These days, it seems like buying healthy foods requires you to dip into your 401K or savings in order to stock your pantry, and that just doesn’t have to be the case! While healthier foods can sometimes be a little more expensive, there are ways to bring down the cost of eating healthy. Some of my favorite tips:
- Prioritize the foods that are most important to you and your health versus those that you can live without if your budget doesn’t stretch that far. For me, that looks like paying more for meats/poultry and organic produce while leaving “frill” purchases like granola and crackers off my list. What I prioritize might look different than what you prioritize.
- Buy in-season produce. Do your wallet a favor and DON’T buy a half pint of blueberries for $6.99 in December. If produce isn’t in season, get your fix and lower your grocery bill by buying the frozen variety. Or, go with the flow and eat what’s naturally in season as those will be cheaper.
- Buy the whole form of a food versus pre-packaged/pre-cut varieties. For example, buy a whole head of broccoli instead of a bag of pre-cut broccoli. Yes it takes more prep time on your end, but if you are wanting to cut your grocery bill down, it’s worth it! This is the case for items like apples, sliced berries and melon, pre-chopped veggies, and pre-packaged nuts/snack mixes/cereals.
- Use coupons and shop specials! Sign up for weekly emails from grocery stores, get a frequent shopper card, search for coupons on company websites, or scour the newspaper ads (is that still a thing??) to find the best deals. Once you have a list of the sales and specials, you can build your grocery list and meal plan around those items. Coupon disclaimer: only use ’em if it’s a product you’ll actually eat!!
- Make a meal plan and grocery list…and stick to it! Before I go grocery shopping for the week, I take stock of what I already have in the fridge, freezer and pantry that I could use. I will then meal plan and shop to “fill in the gaps”, basing meals off of what I have, and what’s on sale/weekly special (as per previous tip). When I go in with a plan and projected budget, I feel more in control and don’t have eyes that bulge out of their sockets when I go to swipe my card to pay.”