I love healthy food but sometimes it is expensive. These are a few tricks I use:
Buy Frozen Berries: Fresh berries are usually expensive, especially when they are out of season. Frozen berries cost much less and they’re just as nutritious for you. Plus, with frozen berries, you don’t have to worry about eating them before they go bad.
Buy Quick Oats:
Instant oatmeal is great in a pinch, but buying a huge canister of quick oats is a much more cost-effective option. You can make your own quick oatmeal by using 1/2 cup of quick oats, put them in a Tupperware container, and add hot water and let sit for a few minutes. Instant packets are often packed full of added sugars (and calories!). Try mixing in honey or fresh or frozen fruit.
Too pricey: Vegetable chips
Smart swap: Kale chips
As a salty snack, homemade kale chips are a great swap to expensive veggie chips. And at less than 50 calories per cup, they’re just a fraction of the calories as the store-bought stuff. While they do require some prep work, kale chips are incredibly easy to make. Just spray washed kale with cooking spray, season with sea salt, and bake at 350° for about 15 minutes. They taste just like potato chips!
Too pricey: Lärabars
Smart swap: Nuts and dried fruit
Lärabars are one of my favorites snacks, but buying them every week definitely takes a toll on my budget. Instead, I eat dried fruit, like dates and prunes, and nuts, like almonds and walnuts, and save my Lärabars for a special treat. Eating dried fruit and nuts together makes a very filling snack that also satisfies my sweet tooth.
Plan a week's worth of meals
When it comes to saving money at the grocery store, much of it happens before I even leave my house. Typically, on Sunday afternoons, I take the time to meal-plan for the week.
Look in the fridge
The first thing I do in my meal-planning process is take stock of what I already have in my kitchen. I take the time to move things around in the refrigerator and cabinets to see what I have on hand. Most of the time, I am surprised by what I find—a jar of marinated artichoke hearts, a can of pinto beans. Instead of buying these items again or letting them go to waste, I incorporate them into the coming week’s menu. Make sure you use the vegetables or things that go bad, early in the week instead of at the end.
Look at your schedule
Before I visit the grocery store, I look at my calendar as well as my husband’s for the upcoming week and create meals around when we will be home for dinner. We typically plan a meal for each night at home and make sure to take into account meals with lots of leftovers—like casseroles or large slow cooker soups.
Stock up on staples
Sure, you’ve heard of the “make a list and stick to it” tip when grocery shopping. It’s a great piece advice, and I usually keep it in mind. However, I also make sure to stock up on my favorite products when they go on sale. My husband and I plow through peanut butter so when they go on sale, I make sure to buy them even if we haven’t run out yet. I know that we’ll use these items at some point, so I might as well stock up and save a little money.
Did you know that you can freeze a lot of vegetables and fruit? I like to cut them up and stick them in plastic bags and throw them in my freezer. So when you get a lot of some produce or it is going to go bad try freezing it. Some of my favorite things to freeze:
Berries of all kinds
Happy Healthy Eating!