Healthy eating doesn’t have to be a pricey proposition. By planning ahead and buying smart, it’s possible to get more nutritional bang for your buck.
Here are five smart strategies to help you do just that:
1. Make a money-saving menu
Check store fliers or websites to find out which healthy foods are on sale — and draw up a menu that features them. Once your menu is set, write a shopping list — and stick with it.
2. Shop in season
Not only are produce picks such as berries and tomatoes less expensive when they’re in season — they may also be more delicious.
Another option? Take advantage of staples that tend to be inexpensive year-round, such as carrots, bananas, sweet potatoes and cabbage. Frozen and canned fruits and veggies can also be penny-wise picks. Look for those packaged without added sodium, fat and sugar.
3. Buy in bulk
You may find great deals on beans, whole grains, unsalted nuts and seeds in your market’s bulk section.
In the meat section, look for family packs of fish and skinless chicken. Then freeze what you don’t need right away. Wrap it well — and label it for future reference.
4. Be a now-and-then vegetarian
Going meatless even once a week can be budget-friendly. Make chili with black beans instead of your usual beef. You could even do breakfast for dinner. Veggie omelets, anyone?
5. Ward off waste
Pay attention to “sell by” or “best used by” dates so you know how long your food will stay fresh. Use highly perishable items first — and save the longer-lasting items for later in the week.
And if you have leftovers? Turn them into creative combos. Tuck extra roasted chicken into a sandwich for tomorrow’s lunch. Or fold leftover steamed veggies into a frittata or casserole.