Following a tight budget or looking to get the most food you can for your money? Want to eat healthy while you’re spending frugally? There are many ways you can eat great while keeping to a budget or when you simply don’t feel like spending hundreds of dollars every week on groceries.
The following are some of our favorite ways to eat well, save cash, and have a bit of fun choosing flavorful foods. These healthy shopping tips have the potential to bring you, and your family, optimal wellbeing and a bigger bank account, whether you live in the big city near tons of health food stores or somewhere remote where there’s nothing but land around you.
You may not be able to put all of these suggestion to use, but we think there will be at lease one tip that you can, and will love to, follow.
Shop the Perimeter of the Grocery Store
Fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and grains are some of the cheapest foods you can buy in the grocery store, and most of the time you’ll find these items at the store’s perimeter. When you enter your grocery store, you’ll likely find the produce right away, toward the front. Enter this magical section and look for fresh fruits and veggies that are ready to eat right away or within a day or two (opt for organic produce when it comes to those items on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list). Somewhere near the produce is usually where you’ll find the bulk bins containing whole grains (like rice and quinoa), nuts (we love cashews and almonds), and legumes (lentils, black beans, and pinto beans).
Plant a Garden
Planting a home garden, in your yard or even on a balcony, is a good way to have instant access to healthy food for years. It’s super cheap to grow tomatoes, carrots, leafy greens, berries, potatoes, and many other healthy foods from seed. And, once you’ve got your garden growing, it can offer you a lifetime of free food and fun.
Join a CSA
CSAs (community supported agriculture) offer consumers the chance to buy seasonal, pre-selected boxes of fruits and veggies (and sometimes even nuts, seeds, and fresh flowers) on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis in most cases. When you sign up for a CSA, you’re buying a share in a farmer’s crop, and with your investment comes a guaranteed yield of yummy food as long as the farmer is able to grow it. It’s like helping the farmer fund the growth of his crops before they’re sowed, in return for getting some of the bounty.
In addition to these tips for eating healthy on a budget, it’s a good idea to invest once in professional kitchen tools so that you can slice and dice, and make tasty homemade healthy meals, without ruining food and causing waste. Also, think about making a daily, weekly, or monthly meal plan that utilizes absolutely all of the healthy food you’ve purchased at the store, so that you don’t end up with uneaten food in your refrigerator or cupboard.