If you’ve been complaining about not being able to eat healthy on a budget, listen up.
Just like everything in life, grocery shopping requires time. It’s easy to stop at one store and buy everything you need instead of going to multiple stores and getting the best deals. The reason why you think everything healthy is expensive is because you’re A) looking in the wrong places B) not using coupons or C) don’t have a clear idea of what you want to purchase.
The first thing you need to do is make a list. Before you even think about grocery shopping, you have to decide ahead of time what you’re going to eat for the rest of the week. By thinking ahead, you avoid buying food that you already have or won’t eat throughout the week. Ask yourself, do you really need to buy toast if 99% of the time you eat oatmeal? Probably not. While you’re making that list, think of unhealthy foods that you could live without, and try to substitute them for healthier options. For example, instead of buying ice cream for dessert, try buying caramel rice cakes with some sugar-free jelly. It taste just as good, if not better.
Once you’ve completed your list, think of the stores that you want to visit and the products that they offer. I suggest you start paying attention to the prices of the items you usually purchase at every store, because prices do vary to a certain extent between retailers. For example, my boneless chicken is priced at $6.99 at HEB but I buy it at Target for $5.99 (sometimes even as low as $4.99). That extra dollar that you’re paying might not seem like a huge deal, but once you start adding all the money you could’ve saved, you end up with a 100 dollars price difference.
After noticing the prices, create a plan for which stores you’ll visit and for what products. Personally, I buy my meats at HEB or Wal-Mart (whichever has the highest discount at the time). I purchase my veggies and canned foods at HEB, my cleaning supplies at Dollar Tree, and I stop by Target just so I can check out the discount section. By doing that, I save approximately 75 dollars on a weekly basis.
Now, let’s go ahead and discuss the beauty of coupons. I’ve always asked myself why people don’t use them. I’ve heard my friends mention that they’re embarrassed to use them, but I always ask them why? If you’re embarrassed to checkout your groceries with coupons, stop being dumb. Who cares if the person behind you is mean mugging you because you’re taking forever? You’re the one paying for your food, so it ultimately hurts you if you don’t take advantage of coupons that can save you a substantial amount of money. Get over yourself.
After you’ve done everything I said, you’ll find yourself being able to eat healthy on a budget. I can assure you that my fridge is filled with high-quality food that doesn’t break my bank. The amount of money that I save grocery shopping goes to the other bills that I have to pay, so it’s a win-win situation me.
Moral of the story?
Stop being lazy. You can eat healthy on a budget as long as you’re going about it the right way.