Food is the 3rd largest household expense (Bureau of Labor Statistics). And everyone looking to eat healthy thinks that it costs a lot to do so. Here are some essential tips on overcoming the money obstacle of healthy eating:
Planning is the key to success. Plan meals by shopping the ads first, by looking at the deals before you make a shopping list rather than the opposite. Stock up on sales items for the deep freezer or basement pantry.
Take inventory before you start. Keep a list of what you need so you are less likely to overbuy or create waste.
Cook from your pantry and refrigerator first! Americans waste about 25% of the foods we buy. See what you have on hand and search Pinterest or SuperCook for ideas to use those items first.
Shop from a list to avoid impulse buys or things you might not actually use.
Do your homework! On the items you purchase regularly, know which stores carry it at the best price. I shop at three stores most weeks. I have a list of my staples and where the best price is at each store. When I shop the ads, I add sale items to my staples list for each store. Not sure who is least expensive? Take a day to explore or look it up online.
Research coupons. Most coupons are digital now; check out store apps or sites like:
- Smart Source
- The Coupon Mom
- Saving Star
- Grocery Smarts
Take pictures of your receipts to take advantage of rebates from some sites.
Use coupons when items are on sale.
Know what is a “great price” and stock up. Ads can be tricky. Chicken breasts can vary from $1.29/lb to $6.49/lb in our town. When a good sale hits, I overbuy and freeze, so I always have chicken at the best price. Keep a spreadsheet of price by store.
Be wary of the ads. It is not uncommon for the stores to make a terrible deal seem great. If a can of chilis is typically $0.79/can, a 10 for $10.00 can seems attractive, but actually costs considerably more.
Know the ten-week rule. Stores run specials on an 8-12 week cycle. If you have the room and you know you will use it, consider buying what you will likely use in the next ten weeks while it is on sale to avoid paying full price.
Get a rain check when the store sells out. Most stores will give you a rain check if you ask. A rain check allows you to purchase the item at the sale price even after the sale ends.
Consider alternatives. If a recipe calls for ground beef, consider swapping out for ground turkey or chicken if it is more cost-effective. If an ingredient is too expensive that week such as asparagus, consider swapping it for another family favorite. Most recipes are pretty flexible, and a few swaps can add up.
Compare apples to apples. Look at the actual weight on a packaged item. Two of the same item may cost $2.00, but if one weighs 12 oz and one weighs 16 oz, the 16 oz is clearly the better deal. Packaging can be deceptive.
Don’t go to the grocery store hungry. Your mama was right! Gum or mints can help in a pinch!
Go alone and only shop the aisles on your list; this reduces impulse purchases. Studies show about 65% of items in your baskets are impulse buys when we shop in a group! People that shop every aisle alone or otherwise end up with 68% of their items being unplanned.
Go high or go low. Middle shelves and end caps usually carry more expensive brands and less real deals. As a result, you’re spending more than if you look high or low.
Cut the cart! A bigger cart can cause you to purchase 40% more. Use a smaller cart if possible.
Check yourself. Impulse purchases drop by 32% for women and 17% for men just by using self-checkout! Because the lines are usually shorter, there is less tempting merchandise.
Buy in season. Produce can cost 30-50% less in season, and many fruits and veggies can be frozen for future use.
Fish for the best price. Frozen fish is often up to 35-40% less expensive than what is being sold at the counter. And if you look closely, the fish at the counter are frequently previously frozen anyway.
Slice & dice at home. Pre-sliced or diced items almost always cost more. Nonetheless, while it takes more time, you can save considerable money. Save the ends and peels of your veggies and bones from meat to make a delicious broth and save even more. We’ll show you how!
Split with a friend. Buy bulk meats or sale items and split them with family or friends if you don’t have room to freeze them.
If you’re interested in an anti-inflammatory lifestyle and more information like this, check out The Official Anti-Inflammatory Diet Masterclass. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.