Smart Shopping!

Many people believe that it is too expensive to eat healthy. Fast food prices make meals they serve seem appealing, but there is hardly any nutritional value in the food being consumed. Prices of fresh and healthy food items seem to steer people away when they see the prices of the cheaper processed food. Fear not! Eating healthy does not have to put a hole in your wallet. Following a few easy tips can help you eat healthier without spending extreme amounts of money.

  • Plan meals– Planning meals can help you stay on track of what needs to be purchased while grocery shopping. This can help avoid unnecessary spending on “random pickups” in the grocery aisles.
  • Keep it basic– Purchase fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season. You do not need to eat exotic fruits and vegetables to be healthy. You can take it a step further by purchasing fruits and vegetables from farmers markets that are usually close by.
  • Only essentials– You may love soda, juices, and sugary snacks, but they are not necessary. Water is the healthiest option with a well planned diet. There are now many different flavor packets that can be added to water for taste that in the long run will be cheaper than buying multiple sodas or juices. Replace sugary snacks with fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts. These are better choices for your body and help you maintain throughout the day more efficiently.
  • Save leftovers– Be sure to save the leftovers from your healthy meals. Leftovers can be used as snacks the next day, or be additions to a new meal without being wasteful.
  • Buy in bulk– Only buy in bulk items that you and your family consume a lot of. This will help you save by not having to buy it every trip you make to the grocery store.
  • Be Aware– Be aware that coupons help you save. Do not let the judgment you feel you might receive stop you from using them. Also, buy store brand products. These products are usually cheaper than their name brand counterparts.
  • Pack Lunch– Packing lunches will help you from spending money during the day at fast food restaurants or other eateries. Packing a full lunch with snacks included can save trips to the vending machine for unhealthy “pick me ups.”

The goal of healthy eating on a budget is being conscious of your purchases. You will end up purchasing more foods of substance that will last you until your next meal or healthy snack, without having to eat more…It might even help you eat less if you are consuming the proper amounts of each food group. Be aware of money saving items that can keep your body and wallet happy.

-Lekisha Laster

P.S. Eat before going grocery shopping! Shopping on an empty stomach can lead to impulse buys that you would not have otherwise made.