Home Tips: Finding Cheaper, Healthier Food on a Budget
When it comes to healthy eating, the price tag is often an obstacle. Many people think that you can’t eat nutritious food on a budget, but this isn’t always the case. In fact, there are plenty of affordable options when it comes to getting your daily dose of vitamins and minerals—you just need to know where to look for them.
Save money and Eat Healthily
You can save money and eat healthily without a lot of hassle. If you’re trying to eat healthier and save money, you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. You can eat healthy on a budget, no problem.
It’s not super complicated either. It just takes some planning and shopping around for deals on items that are in season. And then there’s also the option of finding cheaper alternatives to things like meat or cheese—for example, beans are a great source of protein and won’t cost as much at the grocery store as meat does.
There are plenty of things you can do to eat healthy on a budget. Here are some tips for doing just that:
Ditch the pre-packaged stuff.
You can save a lot of money by buying food in bulk and making your own meals. Pre-packaged food such as canned tomatoes is convenient, but they’re expensive.
For example, if you buy pre-made salad dressing or a bag of salad mix from the store, it will cost more than if you bought each ingredient separately and made it at home. The same goes for mashed potatoes and gravy mixes, soups that come in cans, canned beans, frozen dinners (they’re full of salt and preservatives), pre-cut fruit cups, and other individually packaged items. Avoid just about any meal that is pre-packaged foods and opt for fresh food.
Take inventory of what you have and need.
Make a list of what you already have in your home. It’s easy to forget about things when they’re already there, but writing down everything that is available can help prevent unnecessary purchases.
Make a list of all the items on your shopping list, as well as any healthy diet recipes that need ingredients to be made beforehand. In order to save money, it’s best not to buy more than what’s needed for these recipes at one time—so make small trips if necessary.
If there are any leftovers from previous meals or snacks that can be eaten without heating up, repackage them into smaller containers so they’re easy to grab when needed later on in the week—this eliminates waste and saves time since these foods won’t need reheating before eating them again later on down the line.
Use coupons, promo codes, and loyalty cards.
Coupons and promo codes are a great way to save money on groceries. Coupons can be found in the newspaper, online, and in stores. Some stores have a coupon machine that prints out barcodes, which you can then use to get discounts at checkout. You can also find coupons by searching online or looking at flyers from your local grocery store.
Buy in bulk when it makes sense.
Buying in bulk can save you money, but only if you’re able to actually use all that food before it goes bad. If there are no other people in your household and you know yourself well enough to know that there’s no way you’ll use up a case of apples within the next few weeks, then stock up.
But if your family is small and easily distracted by shiny things like movies or video games, then buying in bulk isn’t going to help anyone out. The same goes for perishable products: unless you’re planning on living off frozen sweet potatoes or broccoli florets for two months straight, don’t buy more than what will fit in your freezer at one time.
Go directly to the source.
It’s always better to go directly to the source, which is why shopping at farmers’ markets is a great way to shave down your grocery bill. The food is fresh, and you can get it right there—no middlemen or shipping costs. But if you don’t have one near you, head over to the grocery store instead.
When buying fresh produce that’s in season, try not to be too picky about what exactly you buy—the less-than-perfect looking fruits and vegetables are often cheaper than their perfect counterparts. If there’s something that looks good but doesn’t meet all of your criteria (like being organic), looks for ways to work around it—for example: if an apple isn’t organic but has lots of bright red skin and crunchy texture without any bruises or soft spots on it, chances are that apple isn’t coated with pesticides. Fresh produce health benefits are better than frozen vegetables and frozen fruits.
Sign up for grocery store loyalty cards.
If you haven’t already, sign up for your local grocery store’s loyalty card program. These programs are free and they offer great savings on items that are frequently purchased at the store. The programs also reward you with points whenever you shop at the store or use your credit card to make purchases online. The rewards can include discounts on groceries, coupons that can be used in-store or online, free products delivered to your door each month, and special offers through emails sent out by the companies when there are new deals available to members.
Use your grocery store loyalty card wisely so that it doesn’t take away from any other important priorities in life like paying bills or saving money in other areas of life such as travel expenses or buying Christmas presents for friends/family members who live far away.
You don’t have to spend much on a healthy diet.
If you’ve ever been on a diet, the words “diet” and “cheap” are rarely used in the same sentence. You may think that eating healthy is expensive, but there’s no need to go broke buying organic or non-processed foods. To eat healthily without breaking your bank account, try these tips:
- Don’t buy processed food
- Eat meat sparingly
- Cook and prepare meals at home than you normally would
Of course, there are plenty of other ways to stay healthy with cheap food while still saving money—you just have to be creative!
By taking advantage of these tips, you can find cheap, healthy food that fits your budget. Plus, learning how to make smart choices about what you eat when grocery shopping can help you save money in the long run.