I’ve been there–standing in Whole Foods with my debit card in hand watching the tally as my Kombucha, green juice, fresh veggies and healthy foods ring up. $100….$200…$300!! You don’t want to start unloading your fancy reuseable totes, but you can’t afford $1200 in groceries a month! Healthy eating can be really expensive, but with a little planning, a snack before the grocery trip and some price watching, you can buy healthy groceries for under $50 a week.
So many of you asked me this week what to buy at the grocery store in order to have food on hand to make healthy meals. Personally, I like to take the meals I LOVE at restaurants and make them at home cutting back on bad fats and sugary, starchy carbs. Then I don’t feel like I’m missing out. Things I always have on hand in case of emergency? Zucchini, chicken breasts and sweet potatoes.
Top 5 Ways to Save Money At the Grocery Store:
Plan your meals prior to the trip: Know exactly what you need and EXACTLY WHAT YOU HAVE. Nothing angers me more than opening my pantry and seeing 2 bags of very expensive quinoa when I have just bought one. When you have half the ingredients, you’re already saving money…and you’d be surprised at everything you already have. Also, check your social calendar. Are you meeting friends or have work dinners on Tuesday and Thursday? Be sure not to plan a meal for those days and save money.
Check the prices on EVERY brand: The grocery store brand isn’t always the cheapest, so take a look at those prices. Many times you can save over $1 per item. BUT when buying canned, frozen or packaged food, the cheaper the item the more sodium and sugar it will have. THESE are hidden on the back of the label, check yourself before your wreck your diet. Sometimes it’s worth spending $1 more.
Trader Joes vs Generic Grocery: Trader Joes has amazing deals on fresh vegetables, hummus, and pretty much everything else. Generic grocery stores like Publix and Kroger tend to have lower meat prices with more options in portion sizes.
Packaged vs Fresh: Packaged foods may seem cheaper on the price tag, BUT you never get as much broccoli in a packet as you do from grabbing some stalks from the veggie section. Same with frozen veggies, you get more when you buy fresh and burn some extra calories while chopping them up! You’ll also end up with more leftovers that you can eat for lunch.
Cut Back On Snacks: Buy snacks that will fill you up but might be slightly pricier. You may not want to splurge for $7 trail mix, but that $3 box of granola bars will be gone by noon on Wednesday. Fruits, baby carrots, and hummus are great snacks that can last all week and keep you on track.
Pro Tip: Hit the Farmer’s Market and you’ll save a bunch! You’ll need cash at local one’s like the Morningside Farmers Market on Saturday mornings, but Dekalb Farmer’s Market is a great place to go. Just go with a list, that place is overwhelming.
Here’s a grocery list from Lauren Lives Healthyyou can print out and highlight in order to keep yourself in check while grocery shopping: