Because You Just Spent $9 on a Green Juice
Stick to the List
Make a shopping list and stick to it. Don’t wander in grocery stores. We all inevitably end up in the center of the store somewhere between cereals and cookies. Respect the list.
Don’t Feel the Need to Fill Your Cart
Only have a few items? Grab a basket. If you know you are going to need a cart – don’t feel like you don’t have enough stuff if it isn’t filled to the brim (and see above).
If you buy fresh berries in winter it will not be cheap. Eating with the seasons will ensure fresher produce and less money. Don’t rule out your farmers market. I often find when produce is in season it will be cheaper at the farmer’s’ market then the store.
Don’t Be Afraid of Frozen
And don’t be fooled by fake frozen meals. When I’m talking frozen I’m thinking broccoli, fruit, and other whole foods. Beware of bags of frozen vegetables that have added salt, butter, or other ingredients besides said vegetable.
If you know you aren’t going to get through that organic bag of spinach before it rots in your bottom drawer try throwing half in the freezer and adding it to smoothies later. If there is food you aren’t going to get to before it rots then chop it up or blend it then bag it and have it at a later date. Nothing is worse than seeing delicious fresh food go to waste. Don’t buy what you know you won’t eat.
Nuts, seeds, grains, and beans! I’m obsessed with buying these items in dried bulk bins from grocers. Cooking your own beans is much more cost effective than buying them canned (although I understand the sake of convenience). In general I have found seeds like quinoa to be much cheaper in bulk bins versus boxed by brands. The other great thing about bulk bins is you can buy as much or little of the product as you want. Only need one cup of brazil nuts to make nut milk? No need to buy a whole box.
Buy the generic brand or grocery store brand. Generic brands or the stores brands often have almost identical ingredients. Take the time to do some comparison shopping.
Ethnic stores and corner stores are worth looking into. Many of them feature an impressive, affordable selection of fruits and vegetables, as well as some other products. Buying a bag of kombu is going to be a lot cheaper in Chinatown then your local health food store.
If you want to start buying organic but it’s not within you budget to buy strictly organic produce then know your dirty dozen and clean fifteen.
I know the world of couponing can get a little out of control but they can also be worth looking into. If you have a store you frequent pick up their flyer and take a peek. However don’t get sucked into buying things you didn’t want or need in the first place. Same goes with sales in your grocery store. Just because it’s a good deal doesn’t mean you should buy it.
Follow your grocery store’s social media account. They tend to post special deals or discounts that sometimes only apply to followers.
Skimp on Superfoods
Although nutritionists like myself talk about the benefits of superfoods like chia seeds and bee pollen, you don’t need those specialty items to eat healthy. Spinach, peppers, and peas all are superfoods to me. If you want to start incorporating some of the nutrient dense superfoods start with ones that really interest you. Slowly over time buy them and incorporate them into your pantry.
Get in the Kitchen
I understand that it’s easier to buy ready made dressings and meals. Becoming connected to your food and the things you are cooking Homemade meals, dressings, cook your own beans, condiments. Less Processed Foods = cheaper and healthier.
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