Eat Healthy and Save Money

That’s right – eating well doesn’t have to break your bank.

These days, it seems everyone is looking for ways to cut back on spending and find the best deals. This means lowering your monthly utility bills and not buying that new luxury vehicle. And it also means watching your dimes during your weekly trip to the grocery store. How can we save money on our food but still eat a healthy, well-balanced diet? Read on and you will find key ways to reduce your grocery bill without going hungry. All it takes is a little research and a plan.

First: The first step is to make a plan. Determine what you would like to eat for an entire week. Then, examine your cabinets and refrigerator for what you currently have and make a list of what you still need before you head to the store. Once in the store, don’t veer off to meet your sudden cravings. Instead, stick to your list, without making any exceptions. When you have meal options already in your kitchen, you will be less likely to eat out or to stop for quick, more expensive foods to fix.

Second: A second way to eat healthy on a tight budget is to watch for sales. Many grocery stores offer buy-one-get-one-free deals or other great discounts. It is helpful if you know how much items normally cost before you jump on a sale that might not really be that great of a deal. But if something truly is on sale, you may want to stock up on items you know you can use in the future.

Third: Another way to save on groceries is to cut coupons. Sure, this may seem like an inconvenience that’s not worth your time, but if you invest a little of your time, you can save a lot of money. For the best coupons, find out if your grocery store accepts multiple coupons for a single item, such as the store coupon, a manufacturer’s coupon, or even a competitor’s coupon. Frequenting grocery stores that accept any coupon you have makes it much easier to save. To find coupons, check your local newspaper or magazines. But don’t think that’s the only place to find deals. Many companies offer online coupons that can be printed off and used at will.

When you go to the grocery store, you find that the cheapest calories are the ones that are going to make you the fattest.
– Amanda Zimmerman

Fourth: A sure way to eat healthy on the cheap is to shop along the edges of your grocery store. If you notice, it is in the center aisles where the majority of your more expensive, packaged foods are located. You can find fresh meats in the deli, whole grain bread from the bakery, milk products in the dairy section, and fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables in the produce section, which are all on the outskirts of any grocery store.

Fifth: Another way to save money on groceries is to buy the store brand. For many food products, you will not be able to taste the difference between more expensive brands and the cheaper store brand. In fact, you may find yourself preferring the flavor of the cheaper alternative and you may be surprised to find out how healthy the store brands often are.

Sixth: If you have the time, it definitely pays to prepare your own food instead of buying pre-made meals or snacks available at the grocery store. When you make your own meals, you know what ingredients you are putting into each food (and your body), and you can be sure they are good for you. Good places to begin making your own food are popcorn (Why not pop it on the stove?) or homemade cookies or muffins (Have the kids lend a hand). Before long, you’ll be enjoying homemade meals every day, and your pocketbook will thank you.

Finally: Eating a healthy diet does not have to be expensive. All it takes is a plan and a little extra time. So be smart at the grocery store, stick to your list, use coupons, look for deals, prepare your own food, and take heart knowing that your body and your bank account are healthy.

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