“I would eat better, but healthy food is just too expensive.”
“I would spend less money when shopping, but the cheaper food is just so bad for you.”
We often hear these complaints when talking to people about shopping, healthy eating, and expense. The general perception is that you can either eat cheap or eat healthy, but you can’t have both. What if I tell you that there was a way to have both? That you COULD eat healthy and not spend a wad of cash? Well, you can; and the best part is, you can start today. Here is our list of 15 budget-friendly and healthy grocery tips. Why 15 and not 10? Well, we had too many good options that we didn’t want to cut anything. Take a look:
- Never shop when you are hungry. It is an old adage but true. You are more likely to buy things you don’t really need if your stomach is rumbling. Shop with your head, not your stomach!
- Take your time. If you are serious about healthy shopping on a budget, you will need to spend time looking at your options and reading labels, especially for the first few months. Once you gain an instinct, it will be easier and quicker to shop for cheap healthy food. But, don’t rush it if you want to make the best decisions.
- Do your research. Read up on the latest studies and health news. It is easy with the internet.
- Don’t assume that something with ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ on the label is the healthiest. These are often tricks to pull you in; they also tend to be the most expensive. Look up reviews on the product.
- Healthy grocery shopping is often a matter of what you are NOT buying as much as what you are buying. For every item you place in your cart, ask yourself “Is this healthy?” and “Can I get a similar product cheaper?” If the answers aren’t good, put it back on the shelf.
- Permit yourself some treats. These will cut down on the likelihood of you completely regressing to your old habits. Buy yourself some treats, but don’t go overboard!
- Watch for sales. When they show up, buy in bulk to save in the long run.
- Buy in-season. Products grown locally in a season will be cheaper and probably tastier.
- Buy generic. While some brands are superior to others, it isn’t always the case. Don’t get suckered into paying for labels.
- Avoid junk food aisles. If you don’t see it, you are less likely to buy it. Remove temptation.
- Bean and lentils are a good source of protein, can be prepared in a variety of ways, and are a cheap and healthy substitute for meat.
- Watch for whole grains; they are the healthiest kind of grains. Read the labels!
- Plan ahead. You don’t have to forecast every meal for the next 3 weeks, but have a general idea of where you are going. It will be easier to strategize your grocery choices.
- Organize your fridge and pantry. How often have you found something mouldy and expired in the back of your fridge and thought “Wow…I wish I had remembered it was there!” Keeping a tidy fridge and pantry will make it easier to think about what you really need.
- Become a wizard with your leftovers. Saving money is also about not wasting anything. Use every part of the chicken, including the bones (for soup!) Be creative and look for tips to stretch your dollar.
Need more advice on how to have a diet plan on a budget? That’s why you need the LOMI App. Available for both Apple and Android, the LOMI App strives to bring health care professionals to your fingertips. Through the app, you will be connected to qualified and certified personal nutritionist online who will help guide you with your nutrition and exercise. Download it today and work to improve your health!