On a budget but still want to eat healthy without breaking the bank? There’s a few “big tricks” to keep in mind before heading off to the grocery store and while you’re there!
1. Check the store ads: Stores always have sales going on, and healthy food is almost always included in the advertised specials. You’re best bet is to make a list before you head out in part so you don’t forget what you saw and in part to make sure you’re buying the right thing/amount. Sometimes stores will impose limits or worse, must buys (ie: Must buy 4, etc) which means you won’t get the sale price if you are over or under that limit.
2. Coupons!: Don’t think “Extreme Couponing.” While that might save you money, it’s going to take up a lot of time. But clipping coupons for must have items can save you some change that will add up. And if you’re store offers it, check the coupons on their website. Most of the time all you need to do is sign up using your store card, choose the coupons you want, and they send them straight to your card. No little slips of paper to lose or worse…leave at home.
3. Check all of the prices: Just because Item A appears to be cheaper than Item B doesn’t mean it is. All items have two prices: The unit price and the retail price. The retail price is what you’re paying. The unit price is the price per pound/ounce/liter etc. THIS is the price you want to pay attention to. Sometimes a larger item will cost more than a small, BUT the unit price will actually be cheaper. What does this mean? You are paying more upfront but you’ll end up saving money simply because you’re getting more.
Let’s use grated parmesan cheese as an example. An 8 ounce container costs $2.50 (I’m making these up, I have no idea what it costs). A 16 ounce container costs $3.50. Naturally, you would think the smaller container is the cheaper option, yeah? The smaller container is actually 31 cents per ounce. The 16 ounce container is 21 cents per ounce. See what I mean? [This is actually a horrible example, but you get the idea.]
4. Skip the organic: It’s not imperative to eating healthy and it costs more. But if you do choose to buy organic, then skip anything with a peel like oranges, avocados, lemons, etc.
[NOTE: A GROCERY LIST FOR THOSE ON A BUDGET WILL BE POSTED LATER THIS WEEK/WEEKEND.]