Some of you out there are looking to turn your life around by prioritizing a happier and healthier lifestyle.
That includes working out more often and starting a manageable diet that you can stick with for the long haul.
However, whether you’re trying to bulk up or trim down, you might have heard that it can be expensive to eat healthily. That’s not the case at all! In fact, if you do it right, you can potentially save money as you make the switch.
Here’s how to keep the cost of eating healthy to a manageable budget that you can use every single week.
1. Strategize Prior to Grocery Shopping
You wouldn’t start a business without a business plan. You wouldn’t start driving to an unfamiliar city without a road map or GPS. You need to have the same thought process when stepping into this newer, healthier way of eating.
Some people reading this might be used to visiting the grocery store once every two weeks due to the things they’ve been buying.
However, you’re going to want to do weekly visits from now on, which will help you in two ways. First, it will keep the food that you purchase fresh. Secondly, it will help you to keep costs under a certain amount each week.
Start by making a grocery list of all the things that you want to try that week. Hold onto that same list during the week so that you can put an “X” by the things you don’t want again and an “O” by the things you want more of.
This is especially helpful for those of you looking to take advantage of Kroger Pickup during this time.
2. Set a Budget
There’s no better way to regulate your grocery store spending than by creating a grocery budget for yourself.
This puts a cap on the amount that you can spend at the store each week. You can set a budget for the entire month, then disperse that evenly throughout the number of weeks in that particular month.
What you’ll find is that you’ll pay closer attention to the things that you’re placing in your cart (and the price of them).
Using a budget will help you maximize all the items that you purchase. You’ll look for ways to purchase as much healthy food for the budget you’re given.
That means things such as vegetables, eggs, and lean meat (such as chicken) will naturally become your best options.
You won’t find yourself reaching for that rack of ribs anymore since they’ll take up a huge portion of your budget.
3. Avoid Name Brand at All Costs
One of the biggest hacks for getting more items for the same amount of money is to go for the store name brand whenever it’s possible.
That means, rather than reaching for the Barilla noodles on the shelf, you should reach for that grocery store’s version of them.
Often times you’ll also find that the store name brand version will be on sale so that the store receives more money for their product.
Not to mention that you’ve essentially been purchasing name brand food items with no extra benefits to them. They don’t taste any different and they certainly aren’t healthier for you.
Next time you find yourself grabbing a name brand item off the shelf, take a second to look around and see if there’s a store name brand option instead.
4. Develop a Keen Eye for Sales/Discounts
Grocery stores need to move items just as fast as any other business, if not moreso.
That means that they’ll occasionally incentivize customers to help them lessen the heavy load of backstock through a crazy discount or sale on the item.
You can save major money each week on your groceries by watching out for these sales every week prior to your grocery store visit.
Once you’re there, you can pounce on the sale items first, then do the rest of your shopping with more money to spare.
For example, say you see that your grocery store is offering a “buy one, get one” promo for all General Mills cereal for that week. Your first move when getting to the store is going down that aisle and adding the cost into your calculator.
Then you have more wiggle room to purchase the rest of your weekly items with one additional product in your cart, thanks to the sale.
5. Learn to Shop In Bulk
Many people have a misunderstanding about shopping in bulk stores such as Sam’s or Costco. They believe those stores to be for people buying to load up a concession stand or for those that eat too much.
However, bulk shopping can be a lifesaver for both your diet and your budget. You can purchase an amount of chicken that will last you and the family the entire week.
Shopping in bulk helps you save money over purchasing that same amount in lower quantities.
There are bulk options at your local grocery store as well. Be sure to ask an employee where you might find the bulk bins (if they have them).
The Cost of Eating Healthy: More Than Manageable When It’s Done Right
As you can see, there are several ways to make the cost of eating healthy friendlier for your budget than you previously imagined.
Don’t be afraid to split your grocery shopping between several grocery stores each week in order to get the most bang for your buck.
Be sure to browse our website with more articles on budgeting, as well as many other helpful topics.