Healthy Eating on a Budget

Eating healthy doesn’t have to cost an arm and leg. Keeping to a budget and staying on track health wise is a possible. You too can be a supermarket pro.

First things first, make a list. Planning out meals for the week will make sure you have a game plan before you get to the store. Come up with healthy weeknight meals that are quick and easy. Take inventory of your cupboard and fridge and make a detailed list.

Now, the most important rule of all, DON’T, I repeat DO NOT go the grocery store hungry. This can only lead to impulse buys and a candy bar at checkout. Eat a healthy snack before your hit the road. Your wallet will thank you later.

Know where the healthy foods are located. Shopping the perimeter of the store is where you can find the most nutritious foods. If you only shop the perimeter of the store you will find produce, meat / protein, dairy and whole grains in the bakery. The isles are where the junk food and sugary soda drinks are. Stick to the outside and you will be in the clear.

Don’t fall into the marketing trap. Just because the packaging says it is a “health food” or it is “all natural” doesn’t mean that it is the most nutritious choice. Look at the ingredient list. Anything you can’t pronounce you probably shouldn’t put into your body. A good rule of thumb is to find an ingredient list that has 5 or less ingredients that will likely ensure it will have the least amount of additives and preservatives.

Check out the grocer fliers and see what is on sale. You can use this information to plan your meals and know which foods to add to your list. Try to eat what is in season. Not only will the fruits and vegies be perfectly ripe but they will be less expensive. If seasonal isn’t always an option like in the dead of winter, frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutrition for half the price.

Buying in bulk can seem daunting and but some food products may make sense to buy in bulk. This will depend on your family’s preferences. Generally foods that will not spoil easily are good items to consider buying in bulk. Things like rice, beans, and canned goods are good examples.

Lastly remember that convenience cost. Anything that is portioned out for you will be more expensive. Buying individual yogurts instead of a larger tub can be nearly twice the cost. Try portioning out snacks for yourself. This will save you money and packaging.