Shopping at the grocery store for healthy, yummy tasting food does not have to be time costly, stressful or expensive.
In fact, one of my all-time favorite hobbies is grocery shopping! I love looking around at all of the different foods, picking out ingredients for new recipes I'm making, and even enjoy seeing new fruits on the shelves that I've never seen before.
Below are my top 10 tips that will save you a ton of money at the grocery store, without having to buy processed, junk food that will keep you satiated and energetic.
Your body wants to be filled with nutritious, vibrant foods that will keep you thriving and energetic!
1. Buy fruits and vegetables that are in season.
Obviously, the price of produce can change significantly depending on what state you are in and how far the fruit is traveling.
I currently live in Texas, which is very close to Mexico, therefore fruit is extremely cheap, even organic fruit.
Click here to find out what fruits and vegetables are in season and how you can start saving money on produce.
2. A lot of people think plant-based diets are expensive when they are in fact much cheaper than the average American diet.
Whole foods are much more filling and nutritious, filled with naturally occurring sugar, unlike most packaged American food.
You will fill up a lot faster on fruits and vegetables than you will on sugar-packed foods, so stay away from the inner aisles and make sure to bulk up on foods at the perimeter of the store.
Related: I highly recommend checking out the 14-Day Lean Clean meal plan to set you up for success. The book is filled with tons of useful information (over 200 pages worth!). I am using this meal plan to hit my health and fitness goals. Check it out below!
It is seriously shocking how much money a person can save by simply visiting their local international foods store.
You can also dump however many spices or seasonings into a bag as you would like, instead of buying it in a small container.
Nutritional yeast is much cheaper to buy in bulk instead of buying it in little containers. I am obsessed with nutritional yeast and put it on EVERYTHING.
Nutritional yeast carries a ton of B vitamins, along with vitamin B-12. It's a great substitute for cheese. I use this seasoning on my black bean burgers, soup, bread, and like I said everything.
You can get nutritional yeast here. Tastes like cheese, without the yucky mucous and other things you don't want in your body.
So now you know, NEVER buy spices that are in that tiny container for $5 a piece.
Related tip: Use Ibotta to save money on groceries (even fruits and vegetables!) as well as many other products from hundreds of stores. Get $10 for signing up here.
4. Many people think in order to eat healthily, they need to go to a store like Whole Foods or Trader Joes.
That's simply not the case at all! I solely shop at my local budget-friendly grocery store, and even Walmart.
Walmart's health and organic selection is constantly growing and will continue to expand as long as we buy their healthier foods.
Related: 10 Ways To Cut Your Monthly Expenses
5. You do not need to buy the pre-washed salad.
Although it might seem convenient, it usually costs triple the price. All you have to do is wash lettuce and greens yourself, and store in an airtight container. It seriously takes 10 seconds to clean vegetables.
You can get a sealed salad container with a reusable dressing cup here.
Same goes for pre-cut fruit. I've seen a tiny 8 oz container filled with watermelon for almost $10.
That's insanity, especially when you can buy an entire watermelon for a fraction of the cost!
6. Consider buying dried beans, since they are significantly cheaper than cooked beans.
Cooking dried beans is incredibly easy. Click here to learn how to cook fried beans.
Beans can go in many dishes, from tacos, salads, rice, stir fry's, and more. Beans are packed with protein and dietary fiber, which is essential to a healthy diet.
Black beans are also heavy in phosphorus, magnesium, and iron, which are all important for a nutritious diet.
Related tip: Use Ebates to get cash back on your online shopping. Get $10 for signing up here.
7. I've actually found that buying first and then making my meal plan works better than doing it the other way around.
I have my staple meals, and already know what I like, and then buy some extra food to prepare a dish I have never made before.
Writing up a meal plan and going out to purchase the foods can be quite strict since you have to buy every single ingredient for the called recipe.
By buying food and planning your meal plan AFTERWARDS, you get to be more flexible, in case a certain ingredient is too expensive.
Also, if you aren't sure what to cook each night, I have a sample template you can use below.
Monday: Taco Night
Tuesday: Veggie Burger Night
Wednesday: Pasta Night
Thursday: Stir-Fry Night
Friday: Pizza Night. (Make a healthy version of a pizza!).
Saturday: Go out to a new restaurant!
Sunday: Cook a new meal you've never made at home.
8. Leave the kids at home.
Kids can be too much of a distraction while you are trying to stay on task, and this can lead you into trying to rush quickly out of the store.
You want to go grocery shopping when you are not in a pinch for time.
This will allow you to check prices, nutrition labels, and more. Grocery shopping should be fun, not stressful.
Related: Healthiest Foods For A Tight Budget
9. Check unit prices!
A certain food might seem cheaper than the one right next to it, but don't be so sure just yet. There have been many times where I compared unit prices and was shocked.
Generic might also be better than the name brand.
I've compared items at my local budget-friendly grocery store and noticed that the grocery store's food has just as many clean ingredients, for a fraction of the cost.
10. Last but not least, check to make sure your purchases are getting scanned correctly.
I cannot even begin to tell you how often I've found cashiers to overcharge me (and don't get mad at them either, their job is difficult and they have customers who are usually impatient).
I always politely tell them that the item was marked incorrectly, and they fix it immediately. We all make mistakes!
I once bought a comforter from Target and only realized when I got home that the employee charged me for 2 comforters. I got my money back, but it was still such a silly mistake for me to overlook that.
Thanks for reading and I hope you picked up a few tips to use at the grocery store! Eating healthy and nutritious foods should not and is not expensive, as long as you learn how to shop smart.
How do you save money at the grocery store? What are some other tips or pieces of advice you can share?
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