Sometimes it feels as though eating healthfully is expensive. It doesn't have to be! Here are a few pointers for when you head out to the food store.
Plan, Plan, Plan! By having a plan in mind before heading to the grocery store, you can save yourself time and money. Think about what you're going to need and make a list. By making a list and sticking to it, you can avoid temptation of impulse buying things you see that you don't need. Also, never go to the store hungry. When you’re hungry, you are much more inclined to make those impulse buys. If you're really trying to stick to a certain budget, try taking only cash to the store so you can't overspend.
Frozen Fruits and Vegetables - A Great Choice!
While you may feel that fresh produce is the best choice for getting in your fruits and veggies, we often times overlook the frozen foods aisles that also contain many of the same items. Frozen produce is a great option for several reasons. First, it is usually less expensive than fresh produce, and you will still be getting the same amount of nutrients. In some cases, you may even be getting more when choosing frozen over fresh. This is because frozen produce often is picked and processed right away and at peak ripeness, meaning little to no nutrients are lost. Fresh produce, on the other hand, is often picked prematurely, which means the produce hasn't had time to ripen and reach its highest nutritional value. It also must be shipped to various locations, which gives it more time to spoil. So next the time you are in the grocery store, consider frozen fruits and vegetables for a more budget-friendly - and healthy choice.
When You Make it Fresh - Shop in Season
Fresh produce can still be a great option without breaking the bank if you shop when it's in season! In-season produce can actually have better flavor than frozen or out-of-season options. From broccoli to sweet potatoes, here is a great guide for choosing produce in peak season.
Buy in bulk
While we may be drawn away from buying in bulk because it involves spending more money up front, it can actually save money in the long run. It also can save time as we won't have to make as many grocery runs.
Meats, as they near their sell-by date, often go on sale. This is the perfect time to stock up on some of the meats you know you’ll use. Just freeze them before the sell-by date and you'll have them for later when you need them.
Dry goods are another great option for buying in bulk because they can be stored in your cupboard for a longer period of time. Spices, seasonings, etc. are nice to have on hand because they can be added to almost any dish. Stock up!
Other non-perishable items such as condiments or paper-based products also are less expensive when bought in bulk.