(Post 1 of 3)
It’s common to hear people say that eating healthy is too expensive. But is it, really? Sure, some food companies take advantage of our desire to be healthy by hiking up prices and placing misleading labels on their products. But if you stick with the basics (aka natural, simple foods), is eating healthy really more expensive than the alternative? The USDA says NO! Eating healthy on a budget is quite possible; it just requires a little planning, choosing wisely and making a shopping list.
Below is Part 1 of our money-saving tips for a healthy diet series (check back later this week for Posts 2 and 3)!
- Plan ahead of time!
- Check the store ads, clip coupons and plan your menu for the week.
- Make and stick to a grocery list.
- Prepare large meals. Use the leftovers for quick lunches during the week or freeze for future use.
- Shop smart!
- Don’t grocery shop on an empty stomach when you may be tempted to buy junk food on impulse.
- Shop the perimeter of the store where the healthy food tends to be located. Avoid the center aisles with snacks, processed food and soda.
- Cut out junk food such as cookies, chips and soda.
- Avoid prepackaged and processed foods, which tend to cost more and be high in sugar and sodium.
- Buy the store brand or generic version when cheaper.
- Stock up!
- Stock up on low-cost items (especially during sales): whole-wheat pasta, dried beans, sweet potatoes, brown rice, rolled oats, eggs, and frozen fruits and vegetables (buy the large bag and use as needed; avoid added sauces and syrups).
- Cereal eater? Buy several boxes when on sale or consider switching to oatmeal. Plain, old fashioned oatmeal can be spiced up with cinnamon and still cost less than 20 cents a day!
- Buy commonly used nonperishable items in bulk. They key is determining if you really use the items often enough.
More tips on buying produce, varying protein and limiting dining out to come later this week! In the meantime, leave a comment with your suggestions to cut costs while eating right!