Buying good, healthy food can get expensive quickly. But eating better while saving cash is still achievable — all it takes is a bit of planning and a culinary curiosity. Here are our top tips to help you shop smart.
- Plan your meals: Creating a meal plan can be simple and fun. You can break down your week’s groceries by day. It will make sure you use everything you buy, which helps you live more sustainably while saving money.
- Write a grocery list and stick to it: Grocery stores can be distracting places: colors, lights, and smells fill the store as you try to steer around carts. Writing a list can help prevent you from buying food you don’t need, like junk food, and from spending more money. Parents, planning meals and writing grocery lists can also be a great way to involve your child. Try asking your child what vegetables, fruits, or lean protein he or she would like to eat this week. Is there anything new he or she would like to try? Or is there anything you’d like to challenge your child to eat?
- Buy whole foods, not processed food: You can buy whole foods, which are not only cheaper but also healthier for you. They are foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible. This could include anything from a bottle of olive oil, cans of tuna, bags of rice, or even heads of lettuce. Whole foods will often line the perimeter of grocery stores. Just think ingredients.
- Diversify your protein: While proteins are a staple of any healthy diet, mixing it up with fish or eggs instead of beef can help keep your body healthy. Try to cooking with beans or lentils, which can be prepared in bulk and used over a longer period of time.
- Cook large portions: Planning your meals and buying ingredients instead of processed foods is a large part of the battle. All that is left is cooking. When you cook, you can prepare large portions so that you can save food for later in the week or pack it as lunch for tomorrow.
With some planning and strategizing, eating healthy can be affordable and fun!