With the majority of Americans spending hundreds to thousands of dollars a month on groceries, the cost of food rules out a hefty chunk of the average person’s paycheck. And what’s worse, eating healthy can seem even more damaging to your wallet! Grocery shopping on a budget doesn’t mean skimping on nutritious fare and limiting your cart to essential staples and cheap snacks. You can still eat clean and fill your body with nourishing goodness without attacking your checking account– it only takes some smart shopping.
Here at SkinnyMs., we’re filling you in on clever food swaps that, when practiced regularly, will slash a boatload of cash from your yearly grocery bill. Eating well and living a happy, healthy life shouldn’t hurt your wallet! Food makes up the third largest household expense, so shrinking your bill will certainly feel a bit liberating.
With a little creativity and grocery knowledge, these tricks will have you piling your cart with the healthy foods you love, without mounting your tab. Well, what are you waiting for? Read up and start saving money today!
1. Ditch the pre-portioned foods.
It’s easy to overindulge on snacks, and opting for foods previously portioned into ideal serving sizes sounds like a healthy move, especially for your waistline. However, you pay significantly more money when you grab those packs of 100-calorie almonds or peanuts, as opposed to the entire canister. Instead, take a few extra minutes to skim the nutritional info and measure portions out for yourself into individual snack bags. You’ll save more cash than you thought over time!
Do you struggle to exercise enough willpower when exposed to your snacks, like chips and popcorn? To keep from overeating, check out these awesome 15 Products to Help with Portion Control, and take a look at these 7 Portion Control Tips to turn enjoying snacks in moderation a lifelong habit!
2. Bust out your cheese grater.
Sure-grated cheese might look nice in the store and shave minutes off of your meal prep time. But in the grand scheme of things, the price you pay per ounce totally offsets the convenience of previously-shredded cheese. Instead, swap out bags of prepared cheese and purchase the entire block. It only takes a few minutes to shred, so dust off that grater and save yourself a boatload of dough in the long run. You can use the extra cash to pair your cheese with some nice wine!
3. Go frozen!
Frozen at its peak state of freshness, frozen food, especially produce, is as healthy (or arguably healthier!) than fresh food, and costs significantly less! Perhaps one of the smartest economical moves you can make in the grocery store, opting for frozen fruits and veggies over their fresh counterparts will shrink your grocery bill without sacrificing flavor. Meanwhile, frozen foods last significantly longer, eliminating the possibility of food spoiling and going to waste! Simply heat produce up over the stove, and pop your frozen fish or poultry in the oven after thawing. Before you know it, you’ll have delicious, flavorful food you won’t believe was once frozen!
Check out The Healthiest Foods to Buy Frozen, and make sure to add some of these items to your grocery list!
4. Choose organic produce wisely.
Choosing organic might seem like the way to go, since it promises food without harmful pesticides and added chemicals that can compromise your health. However, anything organic costs considerably more (an average of 47% more!) than its non-organic equivalent, and some items on the shelves are just not worth the extra bucks. In general, foods with thick skins like bananas, pineapple, and oranges aren’t worth their organic prices, as opposed to produce with malleable, edible skins like nectarines and apples. Moreover, many experts out there claim deeming something as organic only serves as a misleading label, as organic produce oftentimes uses its own set of organic pesticides and fertilizers that are just as harmful.
Before you rack up your grocery bill buying organic food, check out these 12 Dos and Don’ts of Going Organic!
5. Chop your own fruits and veggies!
Slicing and dicing your own fruits and veggies will save you stacks down the road. It’s not uncommon for grocery stores to sell pre-sliced produce for 3X the price. Why? Because they know people will purchase anything to save time and effort, especially when cut perfectly and exposed in its delicious, ready-to-eat state! Regularly buying chopped fruits and veggies will drain your wallet over time. Instead, stop wasting your money and invest in a nice, multifunctional kitchen knife!
Along with saving money, become an expert chopper with the help of SkinnyMs. These articles will hook you up with handy tips on how to cut some pretty tricky produce. Check out The Easiest, Fastest Way to Cut a Watermelon, How to Cut and Peel a Butternut Squash, How to Cut Tomatoes Like a Ninja!
6. Shop store brands!
When it comes to essential items like flour, bread, eggs, condiments, and paper towels, reach for products with your store’s brand. Generic store brand items usually clock in at lower prices than those big familiar brands, and oftentimes offer discounts. And as a bonus, store brands tend to be just as good (f not better!) than pricier brands, meaning you’ll save cash without skimping on quality! When it comes down to it, staying loyal to your grocery store will shave money off of your bill- research states that buying store brands instead of name brands can save you an average of 25%!
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