The most frequently asked question to me has been “why are healthy options so expensive??
Healthy food options can turn out expensive at times, but if managed well it can be a great deal. You can certainly enjoy healthy food without burning hole in your pocket!! Yes! You heard it correct!! All that you need to do is plan well, have the necessary knowledge & little time. The combination of these three can help you save enough money, so much so that you can buy something useful that you have been postponing for years.
let us look at these three necessary aspects in detail
Planning: Planning helps in understanding how much you can spend on these food items.You should know how much of money you have to spend on food and make your shopping list accordingly. But, even before making the grocery list, plan which meals you’ll be making this week. Check out your refrigerator for current stock. You can save money by using present food items in the upcoming week’s meal. Try to create recipes which are healthy as well as low on cost based on what you have in hand.
Here’s one smart tip – To save on greens, you can cultivate your own veggies, fruits and herbs in your kitchen garden. This will ensure, your food is not only healthier but also easy on your pocket.
Stay organized with grocery list, to avoid buying items you don’t really need. Create a list of food and beverage you need to buy. Keep ongoing grocery list in your kitchen or your mobile app, where you can add items as you run out.
Here are few tips on saving money at grocery store:
• Eat before going to grocery store. Going to grocery store on an empty stomach would lead to extra shopping as everything looks tempting. If you are full, this temptation becomes greatly reduced
• Look for sales flyer, they are released in the mid-week and can be found at store’s entrance or in newspaper
• If you have coupon, use it wisely. Use it only for necessary items
• Most stores offer loyalty programmes, by joining them, you can take advantage of special offers and discounts
Some tips while filling your cart:
• Fill your cart with basic priorities like, veggies, fruits, milk and some good protein. By doing so, you can save money on basic items rather than paying for prepared items
• Always try to buy “in season” produce, as they are usually less expensive and are at their peak flavors. To avoid spoilage, buy only required amount of fresh food
• Stay away from tempting aisles of grocery shops, e.g., aisles which keep potato chips, crackers, candies etc.
• Buy or at least try on store brands. They are as good in quality as reputed brands and are cheap too!
• Food companies pay to display their products at eye level. Hence, look on higher or lower shelves for less expensive products
• Know regular prices of items you generally buy
• Unit pricing will help maximum saving, as you will be paying for per pound/ ounce/ quart, unlike, retail pricing where you pay for each item
• Buy in bulk and split it into bags or cups or in convenience servings
• If you have the time, cook your own sauces and soups rather than buying canned. It can be less expensive & healthier because you have more control over the ingredients
• You can easily prepare healthy meals for larger family without disturbing your budget by keeping meals simple, healthy and yet creative. Try having brunch. Foods like salad and egg are less expensive and make a great protein and fiber for the main dish.
After all, to buy food, high in nutritional value, does not always need a fat wallet. With right planning, correct knowledge and little time, you can enjoy healthy food without burning a hole in your pocket!! Enjoy healthy eating!