4 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget, Part 1
Dishfolio food bloggers, are you looking for tips on whipping up healthy recipes on a budget? We've got a treat for you. Today we welcome Sarah Jane Parker of TheFitCookie and FitBetty who shares her tricks on how to also keep a diet on your expenses! Her blogs feature recipes that are allergy-friendlly (gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, egg-free!) as well as fitness, nutrition and work-out fashion for women!
Are you looking for ways to trim your grocery bill while staying healthy? Eating smart doesn't have to cost a fortune! Here are 4 tips that will keep your family eating healthy while staying within a reasonable budget
- Always compare price per ounce or price per serving: Whenever you are comparing the prices of different brands of similar products, it is always best to check out the price per ounce or per serving. Some items may seem like a pretty good deal, until you compare the price per ounce. That is where you will really get to the nuts and bolts of saving money. Some companies have made this easy by posting the price per ounce on the price tag so you can easily compare. When in doubt, take a few minutes to check it out with calculator. You can easily save 50 cents or more per item when you are vigilant about checking the price per ounce/serving, and the savings will add up!
- Buy in bulk: Bulk foods are often less per pound than packaged foods because you aren't paying for the packaging, but make sure to double check price per ounce with similar non-bulk items. Buy healthy staples at the bulk bins (like brown rice or nuts) and keep an eye out for sales and stock up when there is a good discount on your most-used items. Don't get sucked into the savings trap: even if it is affordable, don't buy a bunch of foods that you don't really need. Caution: don't buy junk food in bulk! If you want a treat, buy a single serving of your favorite candy or treat outside of your house so it won't sit there tempting you to eat it on a daily basis. Also, watch for cross-contamination in bulk bins if you have food allergies! If your food allergies are severe, you may want to skip the bulk bins altogether and stick with foods that are packaged without cross-contamination.
- Shop in the mornings: I love to grocery shop in the mornings! Morning store visits are not as busy and are much less stressful, plus you get first dibs on the markdowns in the store. Many of our stores mark down their products in the mornings to make way for the day's fresh produce or meats. I get good bagged salads on sale in the morning, and sometimes I can get some extra-lean meat at a discount if I make it to the store in a certain time frame. Often these items sell quickly (especially the lean beef), so it helps to ask your grocer specifically what time of the day they do mark downs on your favorite items.
- Look for clearance specials: I am always looking for a good sale. I often check the sale area of our store first to look for items on my list that might be marked down. You can often find great deals on crackers, cereal, and other staple items. Be on the look-out for dented cans and check package seals and expiration dates. You can often find clearance or "manager's specials" on meat and milk as well, but be choosy about your meat and check the expiration date on the milk. If you have to throw it out because it is bad, then the money you saved won't matter.