We’re all pinchin’ pennies these days…the economy sure isn’t looking so hot and we could all use a little recession lesson on how to cut back without cutting out.’
Here are a few of my money-saving healthy tips for your food store trips:
Make a List-BEFORE You Arrive
- Always arrive with a complete list of everything you need. This way you are more likely to purchase the foods that you need and will cut back on impulse shopping on expensive and unhealthy foods.
Choose Whole Produce
- In the produce section, steer clear of pre-washed and pre-cut veggies; these tend to be much more pricey than their whole produce friends. For instance, an entire bunch of kale or collard greens is about .99/lb. compared to a pre-washed, pre-cut Dole package of Kale, which can run you up to $2.50! Skip the bagged pre-washed/pre-cut veggies and stick to their whole buddies. You’ll be surprised how much more volume you can purchase for less money! Plus, I always find that the fresh, whole produce tastes so much better than a packaged, pre-cut option.
- When looking for each specific item on the food store shelves, be sure to purchase the store’s brand name items; this will always save you money. I love Whole Foods 365 brand; it tastes amazing and it is usually cheaper than the other brands. Trader Joe’s also carries a wonderful variety of foods using their own Trader Joe’s label. If you do not see a generic brand when shopping, feel free to ask an employee at customer service-they will be able to show you where these products are located.
- Moreover, many generic brands are placed on lower or higher shelves instead of at eye-level. This is mainly so that ‘impulse’ shoppers grab the first package they see, which is the ‘expensive’ brand name option. Take a minute to bend down or stand on those tippy-toes to see what generic options are available.
Buy in Bulk
- Have a membership to B.J.’s or Costco Wholesale? Purchase your meat and poultry in bulk to save you and your family money (as well as countless trips to the food store).
- Whole Foods has many basics in bulk including granola, beans, whole grains and nuts. Be sure to stock up on these essentials by saving money and buying them in bulk.
- Many wholesale food stores also offer beans and frozen vegetables in bulk. These can easily be frozen into individual Ziploc bags for your convenient use.
Always Eat Before You Shop
- We all know what happens when we end up walking the isles of the food store when our little tummy is growling for some grub. Don’t make the mistake of going food shopping on an empty stomach. If you are hungry before you go, have a snack before you head out. This way, when you arrive at the store–you won’t have the urge to purchase based on impulse because you’re hungry. Moreover, this will keep your paws away from the items that you do not need in your cart and your pantry.
Super Foods On a Budget
- Be sure to check out my Super Foods On a Budget post for some healthy and cheap foods!
What are your favorite ways to save money at the food store?