Tip #4: Eat Before You Shop
If you are hungry when you shop for groceries, you are likely to buy more and not stick to your shopping list. Before heading to the grocery store, eat a healthy snack such as trail mix, apple slices with peanut butter, a piece of fruit, or whole-grain crackers with low-fat cheese.
Tip #5: Affordable Fruits & Vegetables
Buying fresh fruits and vegetables in season usually costs less and tastes better. Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables are great low-cost choices year-round if you select these options:
- Canned vegetables with less salt (low sodium or no salt added)
- Canned fruit with less sugar (in water or 100% fruit juice)
- Frozen fruits and vegetables without added sauces or sugar
Tip #6: Buy Store Brands
Store brands and name brands are packaged differently, but have nearly the same ingredients. Many people may not realize national brands actually produce and package a wide variety of store-brand products. Store brands are usually the better deal without sacrificing taste.
Tip #7: Compare Unit Prices
Compare products for the best deal by looking at the unit prices, which show the price per pound or ounce. It is usually listed on the price tag. Larger containers usually have the best unit price, but if it spoils before you are able to eat it, then it is not the best buy.
Tip #8: Limit Extras
Limit buying foods that have no nutritional value such as soda, candy, and chips. Concentrate on buying foods that contain a lot of nutrients such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, beans, and low-fat or non-fat dairy products. Don’t forget to read the Nutrition Facts label to compare items in order to select the healthiest option.
Tip #9: Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk usually saves money as long as you have the space. Check your storage space before deciding to stock up on frozen or shelf stable foods. Purchase family packs of chicken, steak, or fish if you have enough freezer space. Buy large quantities of canned or frozen fruits and vegetables when they are on sale. For fresh foods, buy only the amounts you can use before they spoil.
Tip #10: Prepare Meals at Home
Save money by planning and preparing meals at home instead of eating out. When you have a busy week ahead, save time by preparing some meals over the weekend. Make a couple of main dishes to sue early in the week or freeze for busy nights when you need a quick meal. Pre-wash and pre-cut fruits and vegetables for easy meal prep later or healthy snacks on the go. Plan to use leftovers to save money and avoid food waste.