True or False: healthy eating is just too expensive. So very, very false, sister!
Repeat after me, every dollar spent on your health is a seriously good investment. However, a lean, clean, and green lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to break the bank at the grocery checkout line each week. Avoid receipt remorse with these 5 money saving tips, and go spend that extra $20 on the drop-in hot yoga you’ve been dying to try 🙂
- Make a List (and stick to it). No list? Back away from the Trader Joe’s, girl. Walking into the bright, white light of grocey heaven without a plan means only one thing for your budget: it’s blown. Wander aimlessly from aisle to aisle and your cart will fill with unnecessary items faster than you can say, “quinoa.” Before putting the pen to paper (or the thumbs to the keyboard), read up on my “Week of Eats” blog for the low-down on my favorite cost-effective tip – Overlapping Ingredients – and bring your grocery A-game. (Tip: To compliment Overlapping Ingredients, look for strategic substitutes in your planned recipes. If your ONOs call for dried cranberries and your kale salad calls for raisins, pick one of these sweet ingredient cousins and roll with it!)
- Protein + Pantry in Bulk. When shopped wisely (key word: wisely), big-box stores like Costco and BJ’s protect your pretty pennies with wholesale prices. Limit your purchases to items you use regularly, like protein and pantry essentials, to avoid surplus-spending. My favorite big-box finds:
- Frozen Seafood – Tilapia, Shrimp, Salmon (Tip: Some of you may be thinking, “Really, Al? Frozen Seafood?” Before you knock it, check your preferred grocer’s seafood counter labels. If you’re looking at fine print that reads: Previously Frozen, you could be paying up to 40% less for the same product a few aisles over.)
- Maple Syrup
- Zero Sodium Spice Blend
- Nontraditional Grocers. As a car-less fittie in a big city, thinking outside the health-box is key when it comes to cost savings. In times of ingredient-need, say goodbye to pricey specialty shops and hello to nontraditional grocers! Online grocery services like my personal favorite, Amazon, carry those hard-to-find ingredients without the sky-high markup of boutique providers. My favorite Amazon purchases:
- Pasta Alternatives (like Banza!)
- Powdered Peanut Butter
- Protein Bars
- Don’t Discriminate. Frozen veggies are veggies, too! I love stocking up on frozen produce like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and green beans. Not only are frozen choices just as easy (if not easier!) to prepare, but their long shelf-life maximizes your spending and prevents waste.
- C.I.Y. (Chop It Yourself). Do you find yourself tempted by the allure of prepared meals and pre-cut produce? Snap of out of the life-without-cubing-butternut-squash day dream, girl! Before tossing that Quinoa Pilaf (you know the one) in your cart, check the price tag and nutrition label. Chances are, you’re about to pay big time for some wonky ingredients you can’t pronounce. Purchasing individual, whole ingredients will often save you half the price, and over half the sodium levels.