There seems to be a common misconception that eating healthy is expensive.
Many of us associate healthy eating with Whole Foods and Organic, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
We all want to have a healthy diet and if you’re adulting you probably want to save money or stick to your budget.
PLAN YOUR WEEKLY MEALS
One of the absolute best ways to stay in your budget when out purchasing groceries is to plan ahead. You should have a complete game plan about what you will eat each day of the week. Sit down Sunday or Saturday night and think about what you want to eat during the week.
Once you decide what you want, consider doubling the recipes to have enough left-overs for other days. Most days I tend to just plan out my dinners and have that for lunch the following day.
When your meals are planned out, it’s a lot easier to stay healthy or reach a fitness goal because there’s less room for temptation. You wont heat up a frozen pizza if you have a healthy, delicious meal ready to be prepped… (Okay, some days you will, but that’s not what this post is about. We’ll discuss the balance in a later post)
BUY WHOLE FOODS
Unprocessed foods are much healthier for you than processed (duh!) and they also cost less. Plus, when you buy whole foods, you have total control over the ingredients that go into your recipes.
I’m not advocating for a Paleo diet, but consider eating things that don’t come from a box or have numerous amounts of ingredients (most of the time.) They tend to be expensive and not that good for you.
Stick to the basics:
Chickpeas (and other canned goods)
Quinoa and/or Brown Rice
Mixed Nuts (although these do get pricey, they’re such a good snack option!)
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TRADER JOES
This one doesn’t need a long paragraph. If there’s a TJ’s in your neighborhood, make sure to take advantage of the great prices. TJ’s is the only place I purchase organic goods because the price-point is incredible.
Pro-Tip: Go Early! In my town, if you go to TJ’s after 2pm most of the good stuff is taken.
Super Pro-Tip: It’s not possible to budget in a Whole Foods. Buyer Beware.
USE COUPONS AND DOWNLOAD REBATE APPS
Most grocery’s have loyalty programs (think Target and Whole Foods). Sign up next time your there!
Download rebate apps, the most popular are Ibotta, Checkout51 and Paribus. There are many out there, but I recommend sticking to two or three so you don’t get overwhelmed. MAke sure to combine them with supermarket sales or clipped coupons you have laying around.
It is better to stick with generic or store food brands. Raw foods like pasta, rice, eggs, frozen vegetables, etc. taste very similar to the brands food. Brand foods are costly as they include the cost of advertising, atractive packaging, yada yada but 9 times out of 10 it’s not worth it.
CONSIDER EATING LESS MEAT
Meat tends to be the most expensive part of a meal, look into some vegetarian-friendly meals to add to your week. Meatless Mondays is a great way to start. Eating less meat also helps the environment, plus they can be just as yummy and filling as meat options.
BUY FROZEN FRUITS AND VEGGIES
Frozen fruits and veggies are cheaper and last much longer. If you tend to end up throwing produce out because they go bad, definitely consider making the switch.
Also, most fruits and veggies are frozen right when picked which means they tend to be more nutrient dense than fresh. On top of that, they are already pre-washed, so you save time. Win-Win-Win.
Stockpile on goods that don’t go bad (think pasta, oats, canned goods) when they’re on promo or you have a coupon. Buy as many as you can afford and wait until the next sale.
SHARE A WHOLESALE CLUB MEMBERSHIP
Depending on where you live in the country, there’s probably some form of Wholesale Club near you (Sam’s Club, CostCo, BJ’s). I recommend sharing a membership with a roommate, boyfriend/girlfriend, anyone and taking advantage of the great prices in these places. A wholesale club is where you’ll especially want to implement more than one of these tips (use coupons and buy in bulk for incredible savings).
Some weeks you’ll go a little over your budget, or maybe there won’t be a coupon for your favorite yogurt. I get it.. Budgets are an adulting pain, but after a couple of weeks of planning out your meals and clipping a couple of coupons, you’ll get better.
Yes! Saving money is like everything else in life, it requires some practice.
You’ll get better at it slowly.
How do you save money on groceries?
If you have any other useful tips that can help fellow healthy budgeters, share them in the comments below ~