Shopping for groceries is an important part of life, as you need to buy foodstuffs to keep your fridge and pantry well-stocked. However, shopping the healthy way can be quite expensive, which is why so many people opt for the cheaper, less healthy options.
If you’re serious about being healthy, here’s how you can save money and still buy the right groceries:
Go generic – You should try to avoid buying brand-name items as much as possible, especially when shopping for food. Most supermarkets have their own generic brand that costs much less than the top-rated items. You’ll find that they’re roughly the same quality, but far cheaper–thus worth buying.
Make a list – The best way to overspend on your shopping trip is to go shopping without any idea what you need to buy. Before you head out to the supermarket, rummage through your fridge, freezer, and pantry, and write down everything you think you’ll need for the week. ONLY buy what’s on the list! If you forgot to write something down, don’t buy it. You’ll save a lot of money that way.
Eat before shopping – If you shop on an empty stomach, you’re very likely to buy foods that are less-than healthy but which “look” very delicious. You’ll often over-spend, buying more of certain foods than you actually need. Always make sure to eat before going shopping, or at least have a snack before you start filling your cart. It’s the best way to avoid buying more than you really need, a problem that is very common among hungry shoppers.
Take a calculator — Not sure if it’s cheaper to buy milk by the quart or the gallon, or if sliced cheese is cheaper than a block? Unless you’re very good at doing math in your head, bring a calculator with you (or just pull out your smartphone). It will be easy to figure out the value of the various items you need, making it possible for you to find the best deals on everything.
Find healthy substitutions – Most of us have to make sacrifices for the sake of our health and our diets, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the food you love. If you’re a soda nut, buy some sparkling water and healthy fruit juice to make your own sodas at home. If you love chips, stock up on zucchini to make your own healthy zucchini chips. You’ll find that these substitutions are often cheaper, not to mention much healthier!
Buy raw and whole – A can of applesauce will often be more expensive than a raw apple, and you can make your own applesauce at home. The truth is that raw fruits and vegetables are ALWAYS the healthier choice, so it’s in your best interest to buy them as much as possible. Try to only buy raw food whenever possible, and always choose the brown or whole grain option over the refined one.
Stay on the edges – Did you know that the center of the store is the place where all of the junk food is packed? The middle aisles are often loaded down with “cheap” junk food, which will end up costing you more money in the long run. The dairy, meat, and produce aisles are always along the edges of the store, and you can make a detour into the grains section to buy the whole grains you need.
Buy in quantity – A great way to save money on certain items is to buy in bulk. Obviously you can’t buy fruits and vegetables in bulk, but you CAN purchase dried goods, canned items, nuts, and even dried fruits in large quantities. You can save yourself a small fortune by buying in bulk, as the price per item is much lower.
Use the tips above to help you save big on your healthy shopping trips!