Many people have this perception that healthy eating can be a little too expensive for the ordinary citizens to afford. Organic produce is still pricier than the regular fruits and veggies at the supermarket. Grass-fed beef is also more costly than the regular beef. As prices soar and maintaining health becomes necessary, you don’t need to worry about shopping for healthy food because there are several ways to stretch your dollar and purchase items which are nutritious and affordable!
Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your money:
- Plan your meals on a weekly basis. Before heading to the supermarket, take time to plan meals for an entire week. This will help you save money by keeping you away from the items that are not included on your shopping list.
- Check the family’s schedule for the week. Take time to look at the calendar of your family members including yourself and plan the meals around the time they'll come home. By doing this, you'll spare yourself a lot of leftovers. Also, don’t buy extra food on Friday or Saturday nights if your family usually eats out during these times.
- Check your fridge for supplies. Before creating a meal plan for the whole week, see what supplies you’ve got on hand. Maybe you still have a bag of coffee, a can of refried beans, a jar of pickles and many more. Make sure to incorporate these items in your menu.
- A single bruise on produce isn’t scary at all. When buying produce, check out the fruits or vegetables that have a bruise or bump because you might find some good items. Of course, you could just easily cut off the part that has slight damage but remember to buy produce that you are going to use immediately.
- Staple foods must be replenished constantly. Make sure to stock up on staples to avoid running out of supplies just when you need them the most. When your staple foods go on sale, buy them in sufficient amounts and you will be able to save a little amount of money.
- You may splurge on something but not on everything. Of course, it's undeniable that you still buy some pricey items like almond butter or Greek yogurt. You may do this but find some ways to save money on majority of the products you're planning to buy. Here are some examples of smart swapping items just to avoid overspending:
- Berries -- Sure, fresh berries taste so good but they tend to be very expensive when out of season. Why not replace them with the frozen variety? Frozen berries are cheaper and pack in the same number of nutrients as the fresh ones.
- Oatmeal -- Instant oatmeal is less expensive than the regular oats but when you purchase a big canister of quick oats, you can save even more money.
- Veggie chips -- Being expensive, vegetable chips can be replaced by homemade kale chips. It's easy to make kale chips. Just wash the greens, spray them with a cooking spray, season with salt and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes and voila! You have kale chips which taste like potato chips but are much, much better for you!
- Source of protein -- Swap your expensive whey protein powder with tofu. This super nutritious but underrated food gets bad publicity because of its relatively bland taste and mushy texture. Tofu is a very versatile food that readily absorbs the flavors of other foods you cook it with and it packs in a lot of health benefits, too!
- Salmon -- Skip the fresh salmon fillet because it could burn a hole in your pocket. Instead, opt for the canned salmon. This is less expensive than the fresh kind but still provides you with healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
- Favorite snacks -- You don’t need to shell out a lot of money just to purchase your favorite snack items at the grocery store. Snack bars tend to be very expensive especially if you want to buy them every week. Opt for nuts such as walnuts and almonds,and dried fruits such as prunes and dates to satisfy your craving and your sweet tooth as well.
Remember, eating healthy doesn't have to be synonymous with overspending at the grocery store. Learning to balance cost and quality is a skill and like all skills it is better developed over time. These tips will help you get started on thrifty ways to be and eat healthy.
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