Eating healthy doesn't have to be expensive. With a few simple tips, you can save money and still get the most nutritious food for your family. To shop healthy on a budget, start by organizing your shopping list into categories. Read nutrition labels, even for foods you think may be healthy.
Take some time to explore the product section. You can organize your list by food category or by how your favorite grocery store is organized. To simplify your shopping, focus on frozen and canned goods, whole grains, and dried beans and legumes. Avoiding precooked foods will reduce your expenses and help you prepare more nutritious meals.
Buying in bulk can also help you cut your spending on food. If you're not sure where to start, try a meal planning app that helps you with meal ideas, shopping lists and budgets. Many of them will allow you to upload your shopping list to a grocery delivery service or directly to the supermarket to pick it up. Bringing a healthy shopping list to the store has been shown to reduce your food bill by 25 to 30%. Lists also save you time by offering you a plan that covers what you'll buy and where you'll buy it, making the shopping experience less stressful overall. In addition, they encourage healthy eating by keeping you focused on buying foods that are more beneficial to your well-being, which can help you avoid making unnecessary or unhealthy purchases at the checkout counter.
For example, if you normally start your shopping trip in the produce aisle, make a list of fruits and vegetables first. Older adults for whom buying food or cooking has become more difficult may be interested in a meal delivery service. It may sound silly, but it works: eating something before you go shopping helps you avoid the temptation to buy junk food or to fill your cart with more than you need. Thinking ahead and planning meals goes a long way in helping families describe how they will buy more nutritious meals at the grocery store. To answer that question, here are five practical ways to save money at the grocery store that keep healthy eating habits at the top of your list:
- Shop first in the outer aisles of the store; this is where you can usually find fresh foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy products, fish and lean meats.
- Organize your list according to what makes the most sense to you.
- Before adding dairy alternatives to your shopping cart, make sure they are fortified with calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients that mimic the nutrient profile of animal milk.
- Eat something before going shopping so that you don't buy junk food or fill your cart with more than you need.
- Bring a healthy shopping list to the store; this has been shown to reduce your food bill by 25-30%.
But with these simple buying strategies, you can avoid stress and exit the market with bags full of healthy options.