It can be hard eating healthy on a budget because some of the foods that are healthy can be a bit pricer. The first step is creating a budget and then you know what you can spend each month or week on food and go from there on maximizing your money and getting the healthy foods you want.
Below are a variety of ways you might not have been aware of that can work towards saving you money and keeping you in your budget and getting the foods you want.
There are many stores that offer loyalty programs. With a loyalty program, they are free to join and you generally get special e-Coupons you can use, discounted prices, and more. By signing up for the program you can get special deals on food. I know that Kroger offers points for the money you spend to go on getting discounted gasoline, as well as special deals on food.
Plan your meals around what is on sale this week. Stores rotate sales on vegetables and fresh fruit as well as other goods. Watch for the deals you generally want and track it to see how long it takes for that sale to come back around. You will then know if that discounted ground turkey is worth buying or holding out for another time as you know the price will drop lower.
Coupons and Rebate Apps
Download e-Coupons and clip coupons from magazines and your weekly paper. This is a wonderful way to save some money. Also, download apps like Checkout51 and Ibotta to score cash back on select foods that you buy. For example, you can get $0.25 back when you purchase a gallon of milk. Then once you reach the cashout threshold, get it in gift cards of your choice or send via Paypal. It is a great way to take every bit of savings and get it back. Even go to your favorite brand’s websites and look for an area for coupons. You might be surprised at what companies offer coupons.
Buy Whole Foods
Unprocessed foods are cheaper and more nutritious. Look for deals on items that can help fuel your body but don’t break your piggy bank or budget. Skip the crackers, cookies, and other boxed goods to help save money on your grocery bill.
Proteins: Canned tuna, cottage cheese, plain yogurt, eggs, milk, ground beef, bone-in chicken.
Carbs: Broccoli, Spinach, Pasta, Rice, Oats, Potatoes, canned or dried beans, etc.
When you buy these foods feel free to reach in the freezer section for your fruits and vegetables. You will still get nutrients from them and they will cost so much less. Toss into casseroles, soups, etc.
Buy In Bulk
When you have foods and meats that you are constantly eating, consider buying in bulk. Make sure what you buy you can eat before it needs to be tossed out. When you buy meats, repackage them to single serving sizes and freeze what you won’t use right away. This is a great way to save a lot of money and have meat in your freezer.
Buy Cheaper Cuts of Meat
Bone-in meats like chicken are so much cheaper than buying boneless chicken. Look at cheaper cuts of meat and use it in that form. Buy a whole chicken and learn to break it down to utilize it. Or cook it up and use it for a variety of meals for the week. Just shop for cheaper cuts or shop sales so you get the most bang out of your buck.
Fruits and Vegetables
When you are looking to buy fruits and vegetables look at the prices. Some apples might be $3 a pound while others are 2 for $1. Consider changing the apple you buy to fit the better price. This allows you to still get the fruits and vegetables you want, but not spend a ton. Opt to cut up a head of lettuce instead of buying pre-cut up lettuce. You can pay $1 for a head of lettuce and get a ton more than when you buy a small bag that cost 3-4 times as much. You just have to look around at the prices.
Don’t be afraid to shop for generic foods, they taste just as good as name brand and cost a fraction of the price. Some generics you may not like as well as name brand, so give them a try and buy what you like. I know that toaster pastries, cookies, condiments, canned goods are all available and more in generics.
Shop For A Week or Two At A Time
If you shop every other day, your budget will go out the window fast. Learn to shop for a week at a time or even two weeks. This will help you maximize savings on the foods you want. When you meal prep and shop for a week, your bill will be cheaper. Ever go into the store and walk out with $50 spent and only two grocery bags? Then go shop for a week and walk out with a $100 bill and a cart full of groceries!