A huge misconception about eating healthy is that it is expensive. While I am not disagreeing that it can be pricey, there are ways around having your new healthy lifestyle burning a hole in your wallet. As a full time college student that is also working part time, I have limited time and income, which has forced me to find creative ways to keep the grocery bill to a minimum. I have compiled a series of tips and tricks to share with you- YES YOU- on how to make this lifestyle change possible and financially attainable.
In our previous blog, I shared the benefits of purchasing your produce seasonally and locally. Seasonal produce is harvested at its’ peak ripeness, offering optimal nutritional nourishment. In addition, local farmers that sell their produce to local stores or markets do not have additional costs to account for like traveling and storage fees, which is what typically makes the price of produce increase.
If you are afraid that your fresh produce will spoil quickly, then canned and frozen goods are a great option for you! Frozen produce has a longer shelf life than fresh goods and I have found it to be a time saver because the produce is prewashed and precut! Canned goods leave more room in your refrigerator and are also less expensive than fresh fruits and veggies. Look for the store brand canned goods, as they are usually the cheapest. Keep in mind that some canned goods tend to be really high in sodium content. To avoid this, make sure to purchase cans that have ‘reduced sodium’ or ‘no salt added’ on them. It's also best to purchase cans labeled "BPA free".
Are you a member of Costco, BJ’s, or Sam’s Club? If you aren’t, it might be a wise decision to join one. Like you would at your local grocery store, always keep an eye out for sales and deals that your wholesale club may be offering. Buying foods in bulk is a great way to stock up on your staple items while saving in the process!
Make a plan of attack! Compile an accurate list of the meals that you plan on making throughout the week. Take what you already have in your kitchen into account and see if you can stretch it until the next grocery trip. Write down a list of foods that you need for your meals and stick by it. I find that having a list keeps me from impulsively buying things that I do not need, which makes the bill grow.
A rule that I will stand by until the day I die is… NEVER… never go to the grocery store hungry. Everything seems irresistibly delicious when you are hungry, and you WILL stray away from your list. Simple solution: have a snack before you go shopping. Trust me, your bank account will thank me later.
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