Eating healthy is a challenge no matter the size of your budget. Healthy eating takes knowledge and planning, which can both seem overwhelming in today’s fast-paced world. This is especially true if you are trying to plan healthy meals for your family. Some people are even facing the challenge of specific food allergies or they are trying to lower their risk for certain disease. Add to all of this the fact that eating healthy can be expensive and it can seem as if healthy eating is impossible. The good news is with a little planning and smart shopping, it is possible to learn how to eat healthy on a budget.
A technique for saving money that is always available is coupons. Both individual coupons and coupon books can be found in most grocery stores, as well as at the checkout. Coupons for many popular grocery stores can also be found online at Coupons.com. Coupons are a great way to save money on brand name items, but they can be misleading. Many products that are featured in coupons are not healthy foods, so choose carefully. Look for coupons that are for healthy items you have on your menu instead of letting the coupon guide your eating choices.
Like coupons, consumers can expect large savings on their grocery bill by taking advantage of the sales and discounts many grocery stores have everyday on select items. To expect the most savings on their next trip to the grocery store, consumers can take advantage of the Grocery Guide, a website dedicated to the latest sales and discounts offered by popular grocery stores. Combining coupons and sales are a great way to increase your savings. When you find healthy items that are on sale, buy in bulk. Though many healthy foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables are difficult to buy in bulk, there are dry goods that are very healthy. You can also freeze fruit when you buy it in bulk, preserving its freshness and allowing your family to enjoy healthy food that is not in season.
Another way to save money when eating healthy is knowing how much each specific food item costs. For example, if a consumer knows that bananas cost more than apples and that lettuce costs more than corn, she can choose which items to purchase on each trip, depending on how much the item costs and how long it will last. Alternating food items on each grocery trip throughout the month will also allow consumers to purchase all of the food items she wants and eat a well-balanced diet while saving money. If something is seasonal or only on sale at certain times, limit your purchases to the sales events. As long as you are eating a wide variety of healthy foods, you will likely meet all of your dietary requirements.
Aside from coupons and sales, some stores are known for the lower prices on certain food items. By going to certain stores for specific types of food, shoppers can save more money than buying all of their food from one place. For example, if a consumer knows that Publix provides the cheapest prices on meats, but Sam’s Club provides the cheapest prices on dairy products, she can plan several strategic grocery trips in order to receive maximum savings.
Farmers’ Markets and Co-ops
Another great way to eat healthy on a budget is to shop at farmers’ markets and co-ops. Farmers’ markets allow you to buy fresh food directly from the grower. Cutting out the middle men saves a bundle. Co-ops offer deep discounts to those who buy ownership in the co-op. You pay a reasonable member or owner fee, and then enjoy savings throughout the year