Food costs take a big chunk of the family budget each month, and while most of us would love to make healthier choices for our family and ourselves some find that eating healthy can be more expensive. We’ve provided some tips so you can enjoy the healthier diet you crave without breaking the bank.
It’s said over and over, but one of the best ways to keep food costs down is to plan ahead. For example, if you purchase a head of romaine lettuce for wraps at dinner one night and you didn’t think ahead for how else you could use the rest of it, then purchasing the romaine lettuce and throwing away part of it ends up costing more because of the waste. Planning also helps to avoid impulse buying.
Become familiar with the stores close to you. Some stores have better overall prices on produce, another store may have better daily prices and a third on meat. Carefully planning and shopping the best prices will assist in saving you money to eat healthier.
Most grocery stores run specials for a week at a time making it more convenient to find when the items on your list are on sale. In addition, by knowing what is on sale you are able to plan your menu choices around the sale items. If the sale is good consider purchasing more and storing it in the pantry or freezer for later.
You don’t have to be an extreme couponer, however be familiar with your own buying trends and look for coupons that match what you purchase. Know the stores that double or triple coupons and use the coupons at those preferred stores.
Grow Your Own Food
Want to really save money? Try growing your own food. Having limited space should not be a deterrent. Go online to find out how to garden in a small space. You would be surprised at the bounty you can harvest from even a container garden.
In season fruit and vegetables usually cost considerably less than those that are out of season. When seasonal fruits and vegetables are available consider purchasing a larger quantity and freezing or canning for later use.
Avoid Convenience Foods
Already prepared cut vegetables and fruit can be as much as double or triple the cost. Although they are time savers, the cost may not be worth it.
Nothing is more frustrating than thinking you are getting a bargain only to find that the store didn’t have the sale listed properly in the computer, which meant it wasn’t at the correct sale price or perhaps even at a reduced price. Also, make sure that the coupons were credited appropriately, especially if they are supposed to be doubled.
Eating healthy can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. If you plan, take advantage of sale prices, coupon and buy seasonally the costs for eating healthy can be drastically reduced.
By: Molly McBrayer, Clinical Manager, Roper St. Francis Bariatric and Metabolic Services