A lot of people think that you can’t eat healthy on a budget. Well I’m here to tell you it’s possible if you shop smart! You can be on a tight budget while still eating nourishing, nutrient packed foods. Here’s a few tips to get you started on the road to wellness!
1. Make a shopping list.
You’ve heard it a million times, but it’s the foundation of smart shopping—make a list! Writing out a shopping list before you leave for the grocery store will save you both time and money. When you have specific recipes in mind, you’ll buy only what you need and avoid making impulse purchases.
2. Shop from the bulk bins.
The average American family throws out $640 of food each year simply because it spoiled before they were able to eat it. When you buy in bulk, you can purchase as much or as little of an ingredient as you need. Buying spices, grains or beans in bulk is an especially big money saver.
3. Order groceries online.
Another great way to avoid buying things you don’t need is by using a service like Instacart. They have partnered with quite a few stores so you can buy from multiple places at once and then get it delivered directly to your door within 2 hours. I’ve been using this service a lot lately due to my limited mobility and it has become a life saver. No more driving from store to store trying to find the best deal. And don’t forget Amazon and Vitacost are also great choices for pantry staples or bulk items like toilet paper that you use everyday.
4. Try big-box stores.
You might think that being healthy or plant-based closes the door on big-box discounts, like good old Costco or Sam’s. Not even close! You can totally make that membership count. In addition to loads of budget-friendly, organic produce, you can get great deals on pricey items like hemp seeds, cooking oils, and nut butters. I’ve even been able to get loads of fresh pressed green juices at a fraction of the cost of juice bars.
5. Watch the sale days and flyers.
Almost every store has an online sales flyer, and many include coupons. Before you make your shopping list for the week, check ahead for what’s on sale and take advantage. For example, Whole Foods has a different item from a different department on sale every Friday. Even if you don’t make Fridays your full-blown shopping day, you can still check to see if you can score any goodies at a bargain.
6. Follow your local stores online.
Subscribing to your local grocery store’s email newsletter can help you be your most frugal self. They’re chock-full of specials and coupons that can save you money on healthy ingredients. If you spend more time on social media than email, opt to keep up with store specials via Facebook or Instagram. If there’s a bargain to be had, you’ll be there!
7. Get produce in peak season.
Buying in-season produce is not only delicious—it’s also easy on your wallet. Fresh and ripe usually means there’s a discount to keep that produce moving. Plan your meals with the season in mind to make the most of your grocery budget.
8. Batch cook and freeze.
Batch cooking is a great way to eat healthy, delicious, inexpensive meals every day of the week. Once you get in a flow of prepping your meals for the entire week in one day, freezing is your next best friend. It’s one of the best things you can do to avoid eating out and making extra trips to the grocery store. Plan your meals and freeze the rest in perfectly portioned containers to stay on budget.
Do you have any tips or tricks for saving money on groceries? I’d love to hear!