I absolutely love grocery shopping. I love eating healthy. I also understand that for some eating healthy while on a budget can be difficult task. There are many ways to eat healthy while being on a tight budget, and I’m here to help you keep those coins in the bank. Summer isn’t over, and there’s still a vacation to take! So let’s save on the groceries and catch a flight.
Here are 10 ways to grocery shop on a budget while still eating healthy.
- Take inventory of your kitchen
Take inventory of what you have in your refrigerator and pantry to see what you already have. Chances are you have something already that can be used, therefore cutting down on what you have to buy.
- Plan your meals
After taking inventory, you can plan meals according to what you already have in-house. One day out of the week, after completing your food inventory, sit down and complete a meal plan. I find it easier to use a calendar. You don’t have to be that fancy, a sheet of paper will do just fine. After that is finished, making a grocery list should be a breeze.
- Make a grocery list
After meal planning is finished, it’s time to make a grocery list. Make sure to write only the products you need and make sure to stick to it. I know how easy it is to get off course while walking through the aisles and eventually spending more than what is necessary. No impulse buying, only what is on that list.
- Cut back on eating out
This is a habit of mine that is extremely hard to completely break. I love food especially being able to experience authentic food around Atlanta. It can be very expensive at an average of $40 per person for dinner. For instance if I’m dining out at an average of 3 times a week, that’s $120. At the end of the month I would’ve spend $480 just on dining out alone. You can take the money spent on dining out and create a meal plan, make a grocery list, and cook at home. Which brings me to my next point..
- Cook more
Eating out is an expensive habit to have. Cooking at home is inexpensive and helps to save money. You can prep your meals ahead of time or every day. Another plus is you know exactly what is going into your food. If you don’t like cooking, there are many resources that offer quick and easy meals.
- Use your leftovers
I have a thing for leftovers. They can be repurposed for another the meal the next day. For instance, I cook more quinoa that what I know I can eat in one sitting. I like to take the leftovers and make a salad for lunch or add it to chili to make it heartier. It saves both time and money.
- Buy the store brand
Most stores offer their store brand for almost any product. In most cases, it is the same quality as the top brands, just less expensive. I like the organic brand Simply Truth by Kroger. For me, it is basically the same as some of the organic name brands the store carries. I always read the ingredients to make sure that the store brand is of the same quality and has the same ingredients.
- Buy frozen fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables that will be frozen are normally picked when they are at their peak ripeness. They also tend to be healthier than canned fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruits and vegetables are only in season for a limited time throughout the year and can sometimes be expensive. Frozen produce is available year round and can be less expensive.
- Shop in season
I know I mentioned that produce in season can sometimes be more expensive than the frozen, but it’s not always the case. Local produce that is in season can be significantly cheaper. I have seen grocery stores have sales on fresh produce like crazy this summer. In one store’s ad I saw organic kale for $.098 a bunch. It normally runs $2.99 in most stores. You can always purchase more than what is needed and freeze the rest for future use.
- Don’t shop when you are hungry
I am guilty of grocery shopping while I am hungry. I have made mistakes of impulse buying and overbuying as a result. When you’re shopping on an empty stomach you will crave foods that aren’t necessarily good for you. Now I know better, I either eat before I go or pack a snack bag.
I hope these tips help you to become a better grocery shopper and hope to see you in the in the produce section real soon!
Written By: Chef Teefah
Instagram: MsNation (Instagram.com/msnation)