As if building good habits and eating healthy foods isn’t hard enough, working within a budget can make it even more challenging. Luckily, eating healthy doesn’t have to break the bank! Here are a few money-saving tips.
1. Shop the Weekly Specials
If your local grocery stores have weekly specials, sign up to receive their emails, or check that week’s mailed ads. Look for deals on produce, meats, and other staples. If some of these foods can be frozen, get extras while they’re on sale.
2. Cook from Scratch
It’s no surprise that the less you eat out, the more money you save. Cooking at home stretches your dollar, especially if you follow the other tips in this list! Not only will cooking fresh foods at home save you money, it’s way healthier than the majority of food you’d find in restaurants.
3. Buy in Bulk
Buy certain foods in bulk: anything you know you will eat several times a week, have a longer shelf life, or can be frozen. Buying in bulk can save you a lot of money, especially at wholesale stores.
4. Make a Meal Plan
Meal planning for the week helps save lots of time throughout the week, helping eliminate the mystery of what’s for dinner. Meal planning also helps you know how much of everything you’ll actually need. Plan your meals using that week’s grocery store specials. Include a protein, a nutrient-rich starch, and at least one veggie in each meal.
5. Eat What’s In Season
Look for the fruits and veggies in those large bins you often see at the grocery store. In-season produce are usually sold at a big discount. Stock up if it’s something you’ll eat often throughout the week, or if it’s something that can be frozen and enjoyed later.
6. Buy Frozen
Speaking of frozen, there’s no shame in buying more of the frozen options. When you see sales on plain frozen veggies, fruits, meats, poultry and fish, stock up and save big in the long run. A big perk of buying frozen is not having to worry about food spoiling as quickly.
7. Make Large Portions
When you cook your meals from scratch, think big; especially on the freezer-friendly meals. Double, or even triple the recipe. Cooking extras to eat later gives you an already-made meal when you’re in a bind, or when you simply don’t feel like cooking. Crock pots are fantastic for this.
8. Eat Affordable Protein Foods
Beef, poultry and seafood are wonderful sources of protein, but they won’t always be the least expensive. Once or twice a week, plan meals with alternative protein sources like eggs, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, beans, or lentils. A large batch of multi-bean soup with lots of veggies in the crock pot is a great example of a less expensive, nutritious meal that can feed you and your family for several days.
9. Use Wilting Fruits & Veggies
Wilting produce? No problem! Instead of throwing it out, make a homemade soup or smoothie. Soups can be frozen, and smoothies can be stored in your fridge for up to 24 hours.
10. Buy the store brand
Store brands are often on par with brand name items, and are typically much more affordable. Just check and compare the ingredients label to ensure quality is similar.
Now go forth, and multiply your savings!