When I go to the grocery store, I see people’s carts filled to the brim with junk food. Ice cream, chips, frozen pizza, cookies, packaged snacks…unfortunately, that is what the average American’s cart looks like.
If you are that average American and think there’s not a better option because healthy food is “too expensive”, this post may help you!
If you’re looking at the grocery shelves, the healthier options are generally a higher price however, a little math and a few other tips can really help stretch your grocery budget so the “more expensive” options become more affordable!
1: Buy The Larger Size
This is where some math comes in. My favorite yogurt, Forager’s Organic Dairy-Free Cashew Milk Yogurt is $5.99 at Wegmans for 24oz. If you buy the smaller single serving yogurt cups of the same yogurt at Wegmans, you’d pay $3 more for the same amount of yogurt! This goes for most items I’ve seen. The larger size is usually more bang for your buck!
2: Buy The Store Brand
Most stores have their own line of organic foods which is almost ALWAYS cheaper than mainstream brands. The store’s line is literally the same stuff you’d get from a mainstream brand. At Wegmans (because that’s my go-to grocery store), the Wegmans brand of organic products is always cheaper and you usually get more than mainstream brands.
3: Plan Your Grocery Trip
If you take the time to meal plan, you end up buying less groceries. I’ll use a typical week of my meal planning as an example. If I get a rotisserie chicken, celery, onion, and peppers, I can make fajitas, chicken salad, and buffalo chicken casserole. Each of these meals is enough to feed 2-4 people using 1 chicken, 2 onions, 1 bunch of celery, and 2 green peppers. I’m spending less money on groceries and none of my groceries are going to waste (which is especially important with fresh produce.)
*Also, if you want more meal planning posts, let me know in the comments!
4: Buy Produce In Season and Locally
Produce that is in season and local is always cheaper than out of season and imported. WHen produce is out of season for your area, it has to be imported and the costs of getting the produce from far away are put on the customer. If you’re able to shop at a farmers market, you can get really good prices on local produce! Local produce is also more fresh so it will keep longer and you know exactly where it came from!
5: Stay Away From Packaged Food
The “healthier” version of packaged food is ALWAYS more expensive. Most of the time, it’s not even much healthier to warrant the price. The foods I’m talking about are cereal, granola bars, chips, frozen meals, fruit snacks, protein bars, you get the picture. I rarely recommend eating packaged food and I always recommend making your own snacks! Snacks don’t have to be chips and granola bars…check out THIS POST for better snack ideas (that are also super cheap!)
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6: All About The Condiments
When it comes to condiments, in my experience, the healthy version is usually more flavorful! More flavorful means you don’t need to use as much. For example, syrup…I grew up eating Mrs. Butterworths (high fructose corn syrup) and I’d pour a TON on my pancakes. When I started eating real, pure maple syrup, I quickly realized I didn’t need as much because it’s much sweeter! So yes, real maple syrup is more expensive, but it should also last longer because you don’t need as much!
Same goes for salad dressings! Primal Kitchen makes AMAZING salad dressings with so much flavor! They’re definitely more expensive than Kraft salad dressing, but you don’t need to use remotely as much because there is so much more flavor!
7: Spend Money On Food, Save Money On Healthcare Costs
The cost of eating the Standard American Diet is so much higher than your grocery bill. The medical costs associated with a bad diet are astronomical! Spending a little more on healthy, good quality, nutrient dense food can save you thousands in medical costs. I know some people have medical conditions they were born with and will always need medical care, but for your average American, diet plays the biggest role in their health!
For me personally, I choose to invest in my health by spending more to eat foods that are nutrient dense and high quality and I choose to avoid SAD foods. I spend next to nothing on healthcare costs and prescription medications. I don’t take any prescriptions. Also, my parents who are in their 60’s don’t take any prescriptions either and their healthcare costs are next to nothing as well. A good quality, clean diet is SO important!
8: Grow Your Own Food
If you’re really ambitious, the absolute CHEAPEST way to eat is to grow your own food! #goals
Once you get your garden started, you have fresh fruits and veggies all season!
What are some of your favorite healthy eating on a budget tips? Let me know in the comments!