You may have heard someone say in the past, “Oh, I would eat healthier, but it’s just so expensive.” While that sentiment has been echoed for years, most health professionals will agree—it’s not true; healthy foods are very accessible and just as affordable.
In fact, in most cases, buying and eating healthier foods is much cheaper than buying and eating processed foods.
According to analyzed data from a popular U.S. supermarket, eating like a couch potato—processed foods and a lot of takeout—costs $16K annually. Compare that to the diet of a body builder or fitness enthusiast who eats only healthy foods, which ends up costing around $8K annually.
If you’re on a budget, and you can’t afford to spend a lot at the grocery store, use these tips to spend less at the grocery store. They’re easy for anyone to implement and can be used over and over to continually save while eating healthy.
Make Smart Choices About Organic Foods
Produce is cheap, for the most part. However, it’s when you step into the organic section that the prices start to creep up. Luckily, there are a few tactics you can use to save on organic foods:
- Choose organic only when buying foods that are traditionally high in pesticides. Called the “dirty dozen,” this list includes: apples, grapes, celery, spinach, bell peppers, and cucumbers. You can see the full list here.
- Shop with more affordable retailers. Wal-Mart has become one of the largest retailers for organic foods, according to this recent Natural News report, and are known for their low-low prices.
Coupon clipping may seem old school, but it’s an easy way to save money on healthy foods each week. There are a few easy ways to do this:
- Go the traditional route and clip coupons by hand.
- Sign up for your grocery store’s loyalty program, so you can earn points and discounts.
- Sign up for emails that alert you to new weekly specials.
- Find coupons online at places like CouponBox.com, Coupons.com and CoolSavings.com.
Plan Your Meals
Did you know that “consumers in industrialized countries waste almost as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa (222 million vs. 230 million tons),” according to World Food Day?
There are many reasons for this, one way you can help reduce waste while saving at the grocery store is to plan your week of meals ahead of time. This way you don’t buy more than you need. This is especially helpful with produce, which goes bad quickly if it’s not eaten.
Choose Your Shopping Day Wisely
One grocery chain, Sprouts, has double deal days every Wednesday. They start their new week of specials that day, and still offer the deals from the week before. Plan your grocery trips around an opportunity like this to save. Check with your local supermarket about deals like this.
Foods that are in season are cheaper because they don’t need to be shipped from across the country or around the world. Not to mention, many grocery stores end up getting large quantities of in-season produce, so they discount it to get rid of the items before they go bad.
Use Sustainable Table’s Seasonal Food Guide to find healthy foods that are in-season in your region.
It’s easier than ever to eat healthy on a budget, whether you’re downloading coupons from online or being picky about which organic foods you choose. Make it happen and your body will thank you.