Eating Healthy On A Budget
Jan 18, 2016
One of the biggest obstacles I hear when it comes to eating healthier is that it's too expensive. Many people believe that healthier foods are the most expensive foods in the grocery store. Trust me, I understand wanting to save money and also eat healthy at the same time. Here are some tips on how you can eat healthier on a budget.
10 Tips for Eating Better on a Budget
1. Plan ahead and don’t shop hungry – going into the store with a plan and a full stomach will prevent you from making impulse buys. Those who shop from a list are less likely to stray from those items they have written down.
2. Check out weekly deals and coupons – check flyers for coupons and special deals, and plan your meals around sales that are happening. Also, sign up for a County Market Max Card to earn rewards as you shop.
3. Inventory your refrigerator a couple times per week – check “best by” dates and use these foods before they go bad. Throw wilting vegetables into soups or sauces, add ripe fruits into smoothies, and freeze leftovers to extend their lifespan.
4. Cook your own meals – making a meal yourself is typically cheaper than buying the frozen version since you don’t have to pay for labor costs. Plan ahead and take the time to make these foods and you’ll save money. Meals like stir-fry, casseroles, and soups will help extend ingredients and make more portions.
5. Buy in bulk and double family-favorite recipes – consider buying foods that you and your family commonly eat in bulk or in larger quantities to save some dollars. Also, make favorite meals in large quantities and freeze extra portions for prepared food that can be eaten later.
6. Purchase fruits and vegetables that are in season – not only will these foods be fresher, but they will also be cheaper than buying them in their off-season. Remember that all forms of fruits and vegetables will count towards your daily totals: fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and 100% fruit or vegetable juice.
7. Switch to water – soda, tea, lemonade, and coffee are fine occasionally, but consuming these beverages frequently can really add to your supermarket bill. Water is a free and a healthy alternative.
8. Buy store brands – store brands are usually similar or better than name brands, and are often a better price. When shopping for items, compare nutrition panels and ingredient lists between store brands and name brand items, you might be surprised to find that they are comparable.
9. Consider alternate protein sources – meat, poultry and fish can be pricey, so consider including other protein sources into your diet as well. Peanut butter, beans, eggs, milk, and canned tuna are very affordable protein alternatives that can be incorporated into a healthy diet.
10. Serve correct portion sizes – for items like meats and cheeses which can be more expensive, make sure your portions are in check and it will help save you money! Use smaller plates, bowls and cups to help keep portions under control. Make sure to fill half of your plate with fruits and veggies, and the other half with whole grains and a lean protein.
Hope Danielson, Director of Health and Wellness for County Market
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