Philadelphia, PA - Eating healthfully may seem expensive, but it doesn't have to be. By purchasing fresh whole food products and planning meals in advance and shopping on an empty stomach you can actually save money while supporting your health goals. Shop on an empty stomach to minimize impulse purchases that could add up quickly.
1. Buy in Bulk
Bulk buying healthy foods like whole grains, oats, canned beans, frozen vegetables, nuts and spices can save money and reduce packaging. While it can reduce packaging waste and make nutritious food more accessible than ever before - purchasing perishable items such as milk in large amounts could result in food waste as well as planning how you'll utilize your bulk purchases before they go bad is also key when purchasing in bulk.
Purchases made in bulk can save time and energy by not needing to shop multiple times each week; reduce waste by only purchasing what you need; reuse containers; and save money through bulk discounts. If you are interested in bulk purchases, look for stores like Whole Foods and Sprouts which sell unpackaged foods, as well as bulk bins at your local farmer's market where most produce is sold package free and vendors often welcome customers bringing their own containers - alternatively you could try storing your bulk foods using your own glass jars from home - instead.
2. Plan Your Meals Ahead
Meal planning is one of the best ways to eat well while saving money. Although meal planning may seem time consuming, if you dedicate just 20 minutes on Sunday to this process it can actually go quickly.
Before heading out to the grocery store, create a weekly healthy meal plan and try your hardest to stick to it. Doing this can help avoid impulse buys and food waste while also encouraging home cooking over takeout options.
For busy individuals, meal preparation should take priority by cooking large batches on weekends and storing them in your fridge or freezer for use during busy weeks. Doing this can reduce stress on busy days while making it easier to choose healthy options without being lured in by drive-thrus and drive-through windows. Also remember that shopping the perimeter aisles of grocery stores for healthy whole foods before venturing deeper inside-- you will typically find that fresh and healthier options tend to be much cheaper than their unhealthy alternatives!
3. Opt for Store Brands
Store-brand foods (known as private-label items) tend to be just as safe and nutritious as their name-brand counterparts and tend to be significantly cheaper. Plus, giving store-brand foods a try might just surprise you; sometimes their taste surpasses even name brands!
By comparing 70 grocery store brands and brand-name versions of popular products such as ketchup and shampoo, we discovered that on average shoppers can save 20 to 25% by opting for store brands over name-brand versions; and when it comes to health staples like cereal and toilet paper, the differences in quality can be significant.
If you want to try store brands without breaking the bank, check out some of our top-rated grocery stores. Thrive Market is one of the best online health food stores due to cutting out middlemen - this makes them one of the most cost-effective places for organic, gluten-free or other special diet products while at the same time supporting low-income families through membership fees. In addition, seasonal fruit purchases and special sales at local grocers could save even more.
4. Cut Down on Empty Calories
Calories are units of energy, but some calories lack nutritional value. Such empty calories are typically found in added sugars, solid fats and alcoholic beverages and provide only temporary energy boost without providing essential vitamins, minerals, fiber or phytochemicals (compounds that fight disease).
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, cutting back on empty calories will help people prevent disease, maintain a healthy weight and meet their nutrient needs. Doing this doesn't have to mean making drastic changes all at once; even simple changes like switching soda for water or unsweetened fruit juice can significantly cut back on calories while adding much-needed vitamins and minerals into one's diet.
Utilizing a diet rich with nutrient dense whole foods is essential to overall wellness, and can be achieved without breaking the bank. While eating healthily takes more planning and effort than its alternatives, the long-term rewards outweigh them. Furthermore, discretionary calories (which include empty-calorie food items) should only account for a small portion of daily calories intake.
5. Eat With a Purpose
Eating healthily can do more than simply boost your energy; it can also help you save money! Eating well has numerous advantages besides just physical ones!
Focusing on whole foods, shopping smart and making smart snack selections will allow you to eat healthily without breaking your budget. For additional support, consult with a registered dietician who can develop a meal plan tailored specifically to meet both your dietary and financial goals.
Food health doesn't just belong to those at the top, it is achievable for everyone! Take these tips as your own and use them to meet your personal food goals this year!