Access to Healthy but Cheap Food

November 29, 2017
Adopting a healthy diet can flex your wallet. With these tricks you can be successful at the grocery store and in class.
 
First start with some simple planning:
Plan out meals before grocery shopping. This might seem like a lot of work, but it can REALLY make a difference when you’re wandering the market figuring out what to buy. Making a plan before heading to the store can help you get organized, save money, and choose healthy options. 
 
First see what you already have. Look in your freezer, cabinets, and refrigerator.
 
Check what’s on sale. Before going to the market, check what is on sale. To save money, try and plan out your meals and recipes around discounted items and items with coupons.
 
Create a list of recipes to try. Find new ideas for healthy and low-cost meals based on what you have on hand, foods you enjoy, and foods that are good buys. Be sure to be mindful of spices. They can be expensive and blow your budget. Use recipe-planning apps! There are FREE mobile apps you can download on your device that will create recipes based on the selection of ingredients you have available. 
 
Think about your schedule. Choose meals you can easily prepare when you don’t have a lot of time. 
 
Check for store brands. Most stores offer their own brand of products that often cost less than name brands.
 
Eat before you shop. Grocery shopping hungry can lead to impulse buying and unhealthy food choices.
 
At the Store:
Grab from the back. Stores typically stock shelves from back to front, placing the newest items behind the older ones. Reach in the back for the freshest items especially in the produce, dairy, and meat aisles.
 
Look up and down for savings. Stores often stock the priciest items at eye level. You can save big by looking at the upper and lower shelves too.
 
Buy “in season” produce. They are usually less expensive and are at their peak flavor.
 
If you have the freezer space, buy frozen vegetables without added sauces or butter. They are as good for you as fresh and may cost less.
 
Rice and pasta are budget-friendly grain options. Make half your grains whole grains. Whole grains include whole wheat, brown rice, bulgur, buckwheat, oatmeal, whole-grain cornmeal, whole oats, and whole rye.
 
Some great low cost choices include beans and peas, such as kidney beans, split peas, and lentils. Use these good sources of protein for main or side dishes. Beans and peas cost far less than a similar amount of other protein foods.
 
To lower meat costs, buy the family-sized or value pack and freeze what you don't use. Choose lean meats like chicken or turkey. When choosing ground beef, make sure it's lean (at least 93% lean) ground beef. 
 
Don’t forget about eggs! They’re a great low-cost option that’s easy to prepare.
 
Drink water instead of buying sodas or other sugary drinks. Tap water is easy on your wallet and has zero calories. 
 
Save time, money and calories by skipping the chip and cookie aisles.
 
Prep your foods as soon as you get home from the market. Keep the groove going! Wash your lettuce, cut your onions and peppers. Doing this will make food more available when the week gets busy.
 
Hope you enjoyed these tips and tricks to making your grocery shopping budget friendly.
 

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