Written by: Cecilia V Sanchez MS, RDN, LD
Grocery shopping for healthy foods on a budget can be difficult, but definitely achievable! From meal planning to generic shopping, these may just be your healthy solutions to cut your shopping costs! As My Bariatric Solutions’ Registered Dietitians, we feel these tips will change the way you choose to grocery shop. We all know why it is important to have a healthy diet and to focus on protein-rich and nutrient-dense foods. But how can you contribute to purchasing these foods while maintaining a strict budget? Where can you buy them? When should you buy them? And lastly, what healthy foods should you buy? Let’s break it down!
It is essential to have a set goal of what to purchase before you even set foot inside a grocery store. Ultimately, it saves time and unneeded stress. How can you get this accomplished you may askPLAN AHEAD. Write down what foods you want to prepare for the week in advance. There are many resources available online to help you keep track of this. ChooseMyPlate.gov is a great resource with meal planning sheets and grocery list templates organized by food type!
If you have more than one grocery store to choose from, another option would be to compare weekly ads for which store will have better deals on healthy food items. I recommend even viewing the weekly ads while trying to determine what you will eat during the week you can find great ideas for meals throughout the week by checking out regular specials. If you are looking for a specific food item, the weekly ads will let you know when you should stock up. Be sure to clip the coupons you see in ads and promotional flyers, too!
Where should you buy groceries? That is all dependent on what stores you have available in your area and how far you’re willing to go, organically speaking. For a list of America’s top 10 natural grocery stores, visit the address below and make a list for your next grocery venue visits!
Other ways to cut cost include:
- Shop generic when you can
- Buy in bulk
(Compare the unit cost — a gallon of milk costs less per unit than a half-gallon)
- Do not shop hungry
(You will end up buying more food than you would have if you shopped on a full stomach)
- Check what food you already have in the pantry at home — you can save more money by using some of these ingredients in the upcoming week
- Buy low-starch vegetables and fruits that are in season (the produce will taste better and it will save you a lot of money)
- Convenience foods cost more do meal prep instead
(Ex: protein powder vs. ready-to-drink protein shakes)
- Pick protein sources that are more cost-effective (eggs, canned tuna and salmon, and beans)