Tips to Save Money on Groceries from an RD
Save money on groceries AND eat healthy? Is it even possible?! We totally get it, eating healthy can be expensive. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be. After reading these tried-and-true tips for saving on groceries, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying more healthy food without breaking your budget. Here are our top 5 strategies for saving big on groceries-while still eating healthy.
- Create a meal plan and grocery list before you shop.
This step is KEY. Before hitting the store, do an inventory of the items you already have on hand. Set an intention to use those items first in whatever meals you plan to make that week. Next try to plan a few dinner meals for the week. Have your schedule handy to see what days you’ll want to cook and which might be better for leftovers or quicker meals. Once you have your meals in mind, you can finally make your list. Write down the items you’ll need for the meals you’ve planned and then any staple items you need for the week. Having a plan and a list will help prevent impulse buys and buying things you won’t end up eating.
- Consider meatless meals.
Quality meat can be expensive. Consider going vegetarian 1-2 days of the week by using dried or canned beans, eggs, tofu, nuts, peanut butter, hummus, or low-fat dairy. Check out some ideas at Meatless Mondays or in the “vegetarian” recipe category in the Foodsmart App.
- Go off-brand.
You can often get the same or very similar product for a cheaper price by choosing generic brands. It may not have the same fancy packaging and marketing as the name-brand, but chances are the ingredients and nutrition facts label will look very similar.
- Purchase produce that’s in season and freeze it.
Buying seasonally will help you cut costs and enjoy tastier, fresher foods. When you find a good deal, stock up and freeze it in freezer safe bags or containers. Frozen veggies can be steamed for a healthy side dish or added to casseroles or soups. Frozen fruits can be used for smoothies or defrosted and added to oatmeal, yogurt, or cereal.
- Embrace canned and frozen foods.
Canned and frozen foods are so convenient, affordable, and require minimal prep. Canned foods like beans, tuna, and salmon are a great, less expensive form of protein. And frozen foods like vegetables and fruits are frozen at their peak ripeness, making them very comparable nutritionally to fresh produce.