One of the questions I get a lot is how do I get deals on healthy foods and products? It is possible to still stay healthy on a budget. It just takes a little more effort. I am going to break this down into a couple posts in order to cover everything. Today I will go over a few tips that you can use in any store that you prefer to shop.
1. Cut back on your meat intake. You don’t have to have meat at every meal. There are other cheap ways to get your protein. Eggs, beans, legumes, and even canned tuna are a cheap alternative to meat.
2. Watch the sales cycles. Most stores have a sales cycle every 6-8 weeks. So if chicken is at it’s lowest price, I’m going to stock up to get my family enough chicken to last us six weeks until the next sale comes around.
3. As meat gets closer to it’s expiration date, the stores will mark it with a discount. It’s still perfectly fine to eat as long as you freeze it or eat it that day.
1. Know what is in season. You will get the best deals on the produce that is in season. It cuts down on the transportation costs from shipping it in from another area or country. I reference this guide to find out what produce is in season in my area.
2. You don’t have to buy all organic produce. It would just get way too expensive. Instead, you can follow the dirty dozen list. Stick to this list when buying organic. The USDA came out with a list of produce that has the most pesticides:
- Domestic blueberries
- Sweet bell peppers
- Spinach, kale and collard greens
- Imported grapes
3. If you can’t afford to buy organic produce a good alternative is to buy a fruit and vegetable wash. Just wash the regular produce you buy with this to remove the pesticides. Pesticides are made to be water proof so they won’t come off when it rains, so washing with just water isn’t very effective. You can make your own with my all natural fruit & vegetable wash recipe.
4. Buy Frozen. When produce is frozen right after it is picked, it still has the same amount of nutrients as fresh. I see a lot more sales and coupons for frozen produce then I do for fresh. Also, you don’t have to worry about it going bad and wasting money that way. I also prefer frozen over canned because the canned produce tends to have added sodium and sugars.
5. Grow your own. Even if you don’t have a big yard, you can still grow your own produce. Greens, tomatoes, squash, beans, and cucumbers are the easiest to start with. If you live in an apartment, you can still have a container garden to grow your own herbs. Make sure to check out my post on frugal ways to prepare your garden.
Make sure you check out How to Eat Healthy on a Budget Part 2 for some tips and tricks you can use at the Farmer’s Market and health food stores. If you have any other tips on how to eat healthy on a budget please share them below.