One of the top New Year’s Resolutions made by people is to lose weight and/ or eat healthier. Many people give up after the first day of working on this goal. There are so many excuses people give as to why they cannot eat healthier, but one I hear a lot is that it cost too much money to eat healthy. There are a lot of ways you can spend less at the grocery store and still eat healthy. Being a good example of eating healthy will help encourage your children to eat healthier too. Here are a few ideas to help you save money while still buying healthier foods at the grocery.
Plan Meals and Snacks
If you want to succeed at eating healthier, it will be easier if you have a plan to follow. Make a weekly meal plan of what you and your family will eat. Include all meals and snacks you will eat for the week. There are a ton of great websites to help you find healthier recipes. A few of my favorite are Spark People, Weight Watchers, Skinny Taste, Eating Well, Cooking Light, and Skinny Crockpot. Once you have a plan make a grocery list and stick to it.
Buy Fruits and Vegetables in Season
Fruits and Vegetables are really important in the diet if you are trying to eat healthier, but fruits and vegetables can cost more and be a little scary to add to your list. Look for fruits and vegetables that are in season, you will find that these cost less. If you find a really good deal on them buy more and freeze for later use when they are more expensive. I have done this with strawberries, blueberries, and green peppers to name a few. A few fruits and vegetables that are in season in January include broccoli, cabbage, grapefruit, oranges, and lemons.
Buying fresh is best but also check prices for frozen and canned. These can often be better deals when they are not in season. Buying from farmers markets and cooperatives can also save you money. Also consider planting a garden. This will not only save you money on fruits and vegetables, but can also help you get more activity in your day. You can also preserve garden food by canning or freezing to use when they are not in season. Visit the Ball Canning and Preserving website for more information on canning and freezing.
Buy Generic Brands
Generic brand foods have come a long way, so don’t be afraid to add those to your buggy to save money. Many generic brands taste really good, have the same nutrition, and are usually significantly cheaper. Make sure to check the nutrition label on the product to compare nutrition facts between the brand and generic. Recently I was buying low fat cheese singles and decided one day to look at the generic brand to compare. Not only was it the same in fat and calories, but it was also at least $1.00 cheaper and included more slices per package. So don’t be afraid to include generic brand foods in your healthy eating plan.
Shop at Convenience Stores/Pharmacies
Most convenient stores, like gas stations, and pharmacies sell food at a much higher price. However you will find some deals there too. Many of these types of stores will have items they sell for cheaper to get customers in the store to buy other higher priced items. One item you will find this true for is milk. Some of these stores will have milk for the cheapest around as well as other items. So don’t leave these stores out because you think they are more expensive. There can be at least a few good deals in these stores.
Shop Outlet Stores
Outlet stores are a great way to save money at the grocery. My biggest piece of advice when shopping at these types of stores is to look for dates on products. Some of these stores will sell items with really bad sell by dates that might not make it a great deal after all. One of my favorite outlet stores is bread outlets. They have lots of bread choices that are healthy, including whole wheat, which you can often get for as little as one dollar per loaf. Just be sure to stay away from junk food in the bread outlets. There are several outlet stores across the country. The one I have closest to me is United Grocery Outlet.