Healthy Eating on a Budget

written by Nicolette Rovet

To get more of what you pay for when shopping healthy, it is important to first evaluate how you spend your money on food. Before making your way to the grocery store, think about your meal plan for the week. Check what you already have and what it is that you need. When you make a list, you will be less likely to buy extra unnecessary junk foods, so stick to it!

Shop in Season

When planning your grocery list, it is also important to think of foods that are in season. The fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season are usually easier to find and a lot less expensive. At certain times of the year, buying these foods frozen may be less expensive and they will also last you longer. If you’re buying canned, make sure the label states “100% fruit juice” for fruits, and vegetables have “low sodium” or “no salt added” labels.

fruitBuy in Bulk

Buying frozen or freezing foods yourself so they stay good for longer, usually saves time and money when you buy them in bulk. You can buy many foods such as meat, fruit, milk, vegetables, and bread in bulk to be frozen and used as needed. If it’s in season for a certain product it is cheaper to buy them in bags rather than per piece. Also, meat is usually sold in larger portions and packages for lower costs. Make sure to plan ahead for meals, split these packages up accordingly, and freeze them for later use.

Get your Money’s Worth

It is also always good to check the newspaper and online for local sales and coupons, especially when it comes to buying the more expensive foods such as meat and seafood. When shopping for meats look for less expensive cuts and try to stretch out the meat for different meals. When you cook a lot of one product and have a lot of leftovers it is important to not let any food go to waste. Use some of these leftovers with other ingredients to create new meals. Good examples of these types of meal ideas are soups, stews, stir-fries, or casseroles.

Healthy Choices Firstyogurt

At the grocery store, try to find your way around the perimeter for items on your list. Doing this you will most likely fill your cart with healthy whole foods, rather than junk food fillers. While going through these aisles make sure to compare prices of different brands and different sizes of those foods to see what gives you a bigger bang for your buck. Make sure to also look out for the store or generics brands because they will be cheaper than the name brands and they usually have the same quality.

Sources: http://www.helpguide.org ; http://www.webmd.com ; www.eatright.org

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