People say, “healthy eating is expensive.” But, consuming cheap foods like Taco Bell or mac and cheese may lead to costly health care bills down the road. When you look at it that way, what is the most budget friendly way to eat?
The good news is that healthy eating doesn’t have to mean pricey superfoods and fancy detox diets. You can actually prioritize your nutrition without going over your grocery budget. Here are some tips for the money conscious:
Here’s where you’ll find savings while browsing the aisles.
- Shop Seasonal – Fruit and vegetables that are in season are more plentiful, so they’re often more reasonably priced. Additionally, produce is usually most nutritious in season.
- Overripe – Extra ripe produce is ideal for baking, reducing, making sauces and mixing with oats or yogurt — and your local grocery store or vegetable market wants to sell them ASAP so they don’t have to throw them away! They will often have a section of discounted produce for quick sale. Otherwise, ask and they’ll look out back for you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this produce, it’s simply ready to eat now!
- Frozen – Frozen fruit and vegetables are cheaper than fresh produce because they keep longer, so there’s less risk of having to throw them out if they don’t sell. One thought is that because they are snap frozen immediately after harvest they are just as fresh, if not more, than much of the fresh produce in the store.
- Canned – Like frozen foods, canned goods have a long shelf life. So, they’re priced more reasonably. You can get canned corn, peas, beans and fruits for less than a dollar!
- End of Day Farmers Markets– If you’re only buying a few things, looking to the farmers market for savings isn’t that great. You will get more ‘bang for your buck’ in terms of quality, but not necessarily volume. However, at the end of the day you can pick up good deals on the few items the stalls have left over. They don’t want to take home one onion and two tomatoes, so they’ll give it to you for a good price (and might even throw in some extras for free just to empty the lot!).
- Buy Cheaper Cuts – Minced beef, stewing cuts, round/rump steak, chicken thighs, whole chickens and organs are all very affordable. Many of these cheaper cuts are either extra lean or extra fatty.
Extra lean meat can sometimes be tough and dry. Prepare it by tenderizing, marinating, brining or slow cooking.
With extra fatty meat, do your best to trim all the fat off, cook it with no oil and pat dry.
Everyone knows that bulk buying is where the big savings are. But what should you buy and how should you find it?
- Costco – Costco sells your everyday dry store products at wholesale prices: egg whites, frozen produce, cheeses, grains. You’ll save money and time buying your pantry staples in advance, giving you more opportunity to focus on searching for fresh produce on a weekly basis. Check out our list of Costco buys.
Much of the money lost on groceries is due to people simply not eating all the food they buy. Simple strategies to reduce food waste will result in less money spent on food in general.
- Get Creative – Can’t get that bit of peanut butter from the jar? Add oats and milk to the jar to make peanut butter overnight oats for tomorrow’s breakfast. Don’t know what to do with the random left overs you took home from a restaurant? Turn it into a salad, sandwich, or add some sauce and make it into a tasty pasta dish.
- Preparation Leads to Less Waste – As soon as you bring your groceries home from the store, prepare them for easy and complete consumption. Pre-chopping, portioning or even cooking them all straight away helps you to stick to the plan you had when you first bought them, instead of forgetting or getting lazy.
- Be Organized and Tidy – Fresh food in the crisper, labels, jars, shopping lists. All of these things help you to keep track of what you currently have so that you’re not doubling up or forgetting what food is in your inventory.
Read the full article HERE.
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