Q. We are on a tight budget, but we also want to eat healthy. Do you have any advice?
A. There are many ways to save money on your grocery bill and eat healthier. Here are five budget shopping tips:
Plan to save your money: Meal planning and weight management go hand in hand, but meal planning can also help you save your hard-earned paycheck.
Meal planning helps you build your grocery list and makes shopping more efficient. Without a plan, you’re more likely to buy extra or not enough items, and take out becomes more tempting. Pro tip: don’t buy on an empty stomach; going to the store hungry will blow your budget faster than you can say “junk food”.
Buy whole foods: It’s no secret that some foods are cheaper in a less processed form. For example, a block of cheese is cheaper than grated cheese, and a box of oats is cheaper than a box of instant oatmeal packets.
Sure, cutting fruit and yogurt into portions saves you time, but this is one area that can save you extra dough. And speaking of dough: when selecting cereals, like bread, choose whole wheat options, rather than their white counterparts. This little swap will provide you with a healthier nutritional profile without spending more.
Buy smart to fill your cart: Buy private label or store brand products. The store brands offer the same quality; they’re just cheaper. Take note, many private or store brands have names that may be incognito. Store websites are usually a great resource for discovering all of these hidden gems. Be on the lookout for these brands and watch your savings add up.
Stock up on sales: We all like it a lot, but it can backfire on us. Ask yourself, “Is this item something I would normally buy, or am I just interested because it looks like a theft?” Pro tip: Make sure a product will last a while (if it’s not used soon), as it won’t save you money if you end up throwing it away later.
Frozen foods are your wallet’s best friend: We all have the good intention of using the head of broccoli that looks at us every time we open the fridge, but as the week goes on, the quality unfortunately does the same. This is where frozen vegetables come in. They are convenient and an easy addition to any meal. An added bonus is that frozen foods are already cut and chopped for you, making them a convenient (and nutritious) choice with no waste!