A common complaint amongst those who want to add more nutrient dense foods into their diet is that “eating healthy is more expensive”. While this may be true to an extent, there are many ways that you can incorporate whole, nutritious foods into your diet- even if you are on a tight budget. If cost is coming between you and eating healthy, here are some tips to consider:
Stick To a Grocery List When Shopping
Shopping with a grocery list not only keeps us focused and organized in the store, but it prevents us from buying things we don’t need- or even buying something we already have. Take a good look at your pantry and refrigerator before shopping so you know exactly what you need and what you already have on hand. Without a list, you may find yourself more tempted by impulse buys- which aren’t always the healthiest and can add up quickly on your grocery bill.
Buy Whole Foods
It’s easy to make a healthier food swap- a bunch of bananas is actually cheaper on average than a bag of chips! Fruits and vegetables are essential to a well-rounded diet, and are most often less expensive than a pre-packaged snack food. Another tip: some foods are more affordable in a less processed form- for example, a block of cheese is typically cheaper than a bag of shredded cheese, etc.
Buy Generic When Possible
Many grocery stores nowadays offer generic brands for nearly every product. More often than not, generic brands are the same quality as a name-brand, but less pricy. That said, we always recommend reading the labels on any product to ensure quality ingredients.
Stock Up on Sale Items
When your favorite shelf-stable products or food staples go on sale, this is a good opportunity to buy multiples and save for later- especially if you know that you’ll use them. It’s best to buy more now and save a little later!
Avoid Buying Frozen Dinners and Takeout
You may be surprised at how costly it is to purchase multiple frozen meals from the grocery store or eat out multiple times a week. Not only is it more expensive, but many frozen dinners or takeout options aren’t as healthy as advertised- they can be high in sodium, sugar and saturated fat.
Buy Frozen Produce
Fresh fruits like berries and certain vegetables are only in season certain times of the year, which means they can be more expensive in the off-season. We recommend buying frozen produce in this case- frozen produce is frozen at its peak ripeness, and is just as nutritious as a non-frozen fruit or vegetable. Plus, you can take out only what you will use at a time- the rest is safely stored in your freezer to prevent spoiling.