YOU CAN STILL MAKE HEALTHY FOOD PURCHASES WHILE CONTROLLING YOUR FOOD BUDGET
Finding healthy foods to eat while sticking to a tight budget is not a difficult as you may think. Grocery stores circulars feature deeply discounted items each week to attract customers and good values can be found in every aisle all year round if you know what to look for.
The hard part is changing your shopping list to match what’s on sale or a good bargain. But if you’re trying to save money and eat well, it can be done. Let me show you how.
The biggest myth handicapping people who want to shop smart on a budget is the notion that all of the best foods are found on the perimeter of the store. That’s simply not true! Perishable foods that have high turnover and need to be closer to receiving docks or refrigerated storage areas are around the perimeter.
For example, fresh produce is found on the perimeter. Good deals can often be found on seasonal produce, but fresh is not always best. It is, however, more expensive, other than staples like potatoes, onions and carrots whose prices don’t vary much. Fresh produce becomes even more expensive it spoils before you eat it.
Frozen and canned vegetables and fruit, dried fruit, and canned or bottled 100% fruit and vegetable juices offer good nutrition at a good price every week of the year. Why not replace a green salad with a bean salad using canned lima, kidney and string beans or combine fresh carrots with canned pineapple for another low cost salad option?
Fresh meats, poultry, eggs and milk products are also found on the perimeter walls of the store. It is worth taking advantage of sale items in the meat case if you have the freezer space to store them when you get home. Fresh eggs remain one of the best nutritional values in the store at 20 cents apiece, while individual containers of flavored yogurt are among the worst. It’s far more economical to buy a quart of plain low fat or fat free yogurt and add a spoonful of jam.
You can build everyday menus around the good values found in the interior of the store if you by-pass the more costly versions packaged for convenience, and stick to the basics. These include:
- Brown rice
- Whole grain pasta
- Yellow cornmeal
- Popcorn kernels
- Bagged dry beans
- Peanut butter
- Canned salmon
- Evaporated milk
- Nonfat powdered milk
- Canola oil
- Whole wheat flour
Of course, you must be willing to learn some new cooking skills and a few new recipes so you can prepare things from scratch, but that provides further nutritional benefits. It’s worth it if you want to make an investment in your health and your wallet at the same time!
How are you saving money at the grocery store?