For most eating well on a budget is an impossible task but it doesn’t have to be and you can easily save money while enjoying your favorite nourishing foods with these great tips.
Use the following tips to be a savvy shopper and help your clients eat well
on a budget.
They can also be used during supermarket tours if you choose to include them as part of your services!
PLANNING WILL HELP YOU EAT WELL ON A BUDGET
Have a plan.
Know how many meals you need to prep for, what you plan to cook during the week, and how much food you’ll need. Consider any lunches and dinners out, as well as any travel plans.
This will likely vary week to week, so it’s helpful to plan it out. Otherwise, unused food can end up spoiling and getting thrown out – which is not only a waste of money but a waste of food, too.
Make a list.
After you’ve come up with your plan, make a list! Know what you’re going to purchase before you get to the store.
Grocery stores are designed to entice customers to purchase more.
Appealing displays make it more likely that shoppers will notice and add
products they didn’t plan on buying to their carts.
These foods can add significant costs to your grocery bill, and you’re much
more likely to pick them up if you don’t have a specific list to work from.
Look for coupons.
Many companies offer coupons for their products online.
If there are certain products you know you purchase frequently, consider
searching for coupons to save money.
Stick to the store’s perimeter.
Packaged foods, which are typically found in the center of the grocery
store, can be expensive.
Premade sauces, cereals, packaged snacks, and other processed foods –
especially from brand names – can quickly drive up your grocery bill.
To avoid this, stick to the perimeters, including the produce area, deli
counter, and dairy section – good for both your wallet, eating well on a budget, and your health!
Buy whole foods.
Value-added products, like pre-chopped onions and fruit, may be convenient, but their prices are marked up.
To cut costs, opt for whole fruits and veggies and chop them at home.
Pick plant-based proteins.
Beans and legumes are nutritional powerhouses high in minerals and fiber.
They’re also inexpensive. Beans and legumes are a filling addition to any meal, and dried beans have a very long shelf life!
Shop for local, seasonal produce.
Buying locally is a great way to offset the cost of organic foods. In-season
produce is often featured right in the center of the produce section.
It’s often abundant, which means it will cost less. Typically, it also has
to travel less distance, which makes it not only cost-effective but more
energy-efficient, too! …and bottom line helps you eat well on a budget.
Prioritize the Dirty Dozen.
Organic produce typically costs more, so choosing organic when it matters
most is a great way to save money and on budget.
Food should be good for you. But some isn’t. More than 10,000 additives* are allowed in food. Some are direct additives that are deliberately formulated into processed food.
Others are indirect additives that get into food during processing, storage and packaging.
How do you know which ones to avoid because they raise concerns and have been linked to serious health problems, including endocrine disruption and cancer?
EWG’s “Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives” helps you figure it all out by
highlighting some of the worst failures of the regulatory system.
The guide covers ingredients associated with serious health concerns,
additives banned or restricted in other countries and other substances that
shouldn’t be in food.
And it underscores the need for better government oversight of our food
Foods on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list contain the most pesticides.
Foods on their Clean Fifteen list contain the fewest pesticides, so you can
opt for conventional versions of these if cost is a factor. Keep an updated
version of the lists for reference if it’s helpful.
Here’s a link to the list of 12 additives that EWG calls the “Dirty Dozen.”
They’ll tell you which foods contain them and what you can do to avoid them.
Check out the frozen foods section.
For less expensive fruit and vegetable options (especially organic), don’t
rule out the frozen foods section!
Fruits and vegetables are typically flash-frozen right after harvest, which
means they’ll still pack a nutritional punch.
Frozen produce also keeps much longer than fresh produce, so it’s a great
option if your fruits and veggies often go bad before you have a chance to eat them.
Buy in bulk.
Dry goods in the bulk food section tend to cost less than the same amount of
the same food in a package.
Rather than paying for the package, opt to buy foods like rice, quinoa,
nuts, seeds, and spices from the bulk foods section.
Consider bringing your own containers for an even more sustainable option!
Compare store prices.
Have you ever noticed that the same item costs less in certain stores?
If you always shop at the same store, compare the prices of your go-to foods
at other stores. You can often save money by being a little flexible with
Compare unit prices.
Typically, stores will include two prices related to a product – the retail
price (the price you pay) and the unit price (the price per a particular unit
This makes it easier to see the better deal between different sizes or
Let’s compare two brands of dried fruit as an example. Brand A costs
$3.50 for 14 ounces ($0.25 per ounce) and Brand B costs $4.20
for 20 ounces ($0.21 per ounce).
Brand B may cost slightly more upfront, but it is the better deal overall.
In conclusion, as you can see these simple activities can go a long way to
reduce your food budget, help you eat well on a budget, increase your happiness, and you eat well.