Saving money can be incredibly difficult, especially when grocery bills seem to get higher and higher. It may seem like the only way to save money in the supermarket is by buying unhealthy food that are filled with sugars, preservatives, chemicals and other additives. However, there are plenty of ways to save money and eat healthy at the same time.
One of the first major steps is to avoid buying food that you may never actually get around to eating. There’s no point in buying healthy food if they won’t be eaten before they expire. Have meals planned out for the week to ensure that only food that will be consumed are bought.
Another important thing to keep in mind is alternatives. For every bit of unhealthy food that is usually purchased, consider an alternative that is both healthy and cheaper. For example, sugary cereal could be replaced by healthy oatmeal, and ice cream could be replaced by homemade ice pops made with juice.
Berries are full of antioxidants and vitamins that are beneficial to overall health. However, fresh berries, especially when they’re out of season, are very expensive. Frozen berries provide the same health benefits while being much cheaper than fresh berries. In addition, frozen berries can last much longer than fresh berries can. There’s a much lower chance of throwing away bad frozen berries than there is with fresh berries.
Fish is also a great and healthy food choice. Fish is full of beneficial minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium and much more. However, fresh fish can also be very expensive, and it goes bad quickly even if it’s frozen. A good alternative is buying canned fish. Many kinds of fish come in cans such as tuna, salmon, herring, sardines and more. Canned fish also has much longer expiration dates than fresh or frozen fish.
Generic brands are almost always cheaper than name-brands, and many people can’t even tell the difference in taste. If the generic brand has the same or better nutritional content and is cheaper than the name-brand, choose the generic brand.
Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk can save hundreds of dollars per year. This may seem contradictory because economy-sized items always seem to cost more than the smaller versions, but they may actually save money in the long run. For example, a one pound bag of white rice could cost $2 while a two pound bag costs $3. With the bulk item, there’s a savings of $1, since the consumer is getting twice as much rice for $1 less. In addition, the unit price should also be considered when buying in bulk. The unit price on bulk items is usually lower than smaller items.
Utilize Sales and Coupons
Stay on the lookout for sales, but remember to note the previous price. Many grocery stores have frequent sales on various items, but it’s not uncommon for stores to say that something’s on sale when it really isn’t. For example, an item could originally be $2.50 and the store could say that the item is currently on sale at two for $5.
One of the best ways to get good deals on healthy food is by using coupons. Coupons can save hundreds of dollars in groceries a year. They can be obtained in newspapers, promotional circulars, receipts and from various websites. With so many coupons available, there are sure to be at least one or two useful coupons for anyone’s regular shopping list.
Make Homemade Meals
It’s also a good idea to avoid going out to restaurants. Make homemade meals as often as possible. The cost of food at restaurants is usually much higher than simply making a homemade meal. In addition, most restaurants don’t offer the nutritional facts of their meals. With homemade meals, the nutritional facts can easily be calculated.
Jennifer Willard is a personal finance enthusiast, having changed around her financial outlook with debt consolidation and debt management. She often writes for Credit Guard, and is a strong believer that smart budgeting and spending habits can help anyone to avoid the stress and struggles of debt. You can read more of her work on her personal finance blog, Crayons and Coins.
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