Eating healthy on a budget may sound like a tall order, but if you’re armed with a carefully planned list before you hit the supermarket aisles, you can keep your health and your bottom line in check. Here’s how.
Writing Your List
Start by brainstorming some healthy meals to eat for the week ahead. Keep these budgeting tips in mind:
- Check the cupboard first. What ingredients do you already have in the pantry, freezer, and fridge? You’ll save by using items you’ve already purchased and by avoiding buying duplicates.
- Plan your meals for the season. In-season produce is less expensive than produce that’s out of season. In colder months, stick to hearty veggies like squash, sweet potatoes, and broccoli.
- Look for deals. See what’s on sale at local grocery stores and what your family will eat. It’s not a good deal if no one will eat it.
- Strategize protein purchases. Try lowcost, healthy alternatives like black beans and lentils. You can also opt for canned fish over fresh.
Making the Most of It
When it’s time to head to the store, get the most from your list and your dollar:
- Buy in bulk. When possible, buy value or family-sized items and freeze any meat, produce, or leftovers you don’t use. When buying a larger size of a dairy product, check the expiration date to be sure you can finish it in time.
- Choose store brands. These can help save money over name brands.
- Stick to the list. Avoid impulse buys you didn’t budget for.