Eating as healthy as possible, may appear to take a little more work, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be more expensive. You can easily find ingredients that are healthy, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, and lean protein, and prepare healthy meals at home. It’s best to make a grocery list and stick to it. What also helps, is making the ingredients yourself, such as your own yogurt.
To lower the cost of certain healthy foods, it helps to know beforehand exactly what you need to buy. Begin by taking each food category, and then decide what your alternate options can in the same food group. The key becomes to mix and match the nutrients.
1. – Shop What’s In Season
When fruits and vegetables are in season, they tend to cost less. Often, grocery stores and farmers markets will run sales on what’s in season, because they know their customers expect certain fruits and vegetables at certain times of the year. As an added benefit, when produce is in season, they taste better and are much fresher.
2. – Check Prices On Canned Or Frozen
While you prefer your fruits and vegetables as fresh as possible, you can often save money by opting for canned or frozen foods instead. These options usually contain the same health benefits, provided that you choose the ones that don’t have added salt or sugar. So read the labels. Do this for proteins as well. Frozen chicken is usually cheaper than fresh, and canned tuna or salmon is more affordable than fresh fish.
3. – Shop For Weekly Deals
Almost every grocery chain will have weekly specials, where they will send you flyers on what’s on sale that week. When something is on sale, that’s the best time to stock up on your favorite foods. Most protein can be frozen and saved for later, such as if your local store is running a sale on boneless skinless chicken breasts. Buy some to consume now, and then save the rest for later.
4. – Always Comparison Shop
You most likely already know to check for the lowest prices on the items that you’re buying. But what most get accustomed to, is that they’ll stick with buying a certain brand, assuming that it’s the cheapest, when prices and competitive brands change all the time. So check each time you buy. Look closely at the grocery shelves, as they’ll tend to put the most expensive items at eye level. Know that store brands, tend to be cheaper, but are comparable in taste.
5. Buy In Bulk
While buying in bulk may initially result in a higher price upfront, it will usually work out to be cheaper overall overtime. For instance, buying a large bag of instant oatmeal is cheaper, than buying a box of branded flavored instant packets. Just add some fresh fruit on your own to create your own flavors.
What most local health food stores also has is a bulk bin section. Often, they will have items such as grains, beans, pasta, nuts, granola, flours, and sugars, where you can buy just what you need, and not the whole box. You can then take advantage of the cheaper price, by buying small amounts.