A lot of people are under the misconception that it is more expensive to eat healthy, but the truth is it isn’t if you know what to get. If you think about it, wherever you are going to eat was able to serve you that meal, while still making money. That $1 hamburger isn’t causing McDonald’s to be unable to pay their electric bill. According to Quora, McDonald’s isn’t hurting at all making $75.21 million in revenue daily! So let’s learn how to put that $75.21 million back into our savings, while eating healthy.
The best tool when shopping in the grocery store on a budget is unit price. Unit price is the price per pound. This allows you to be able to easily distinguish where you are getting the most for your money, even when containers have different sizes and amounts. It is often denoted on most signs, but it is also fairly easy to calculate yourself. You take the price of the product divided by the quantity. For example, if cereal is $3 for a 1.5 lb box, then it has a unit price of $2/lb.
Fruits & Veggies
- Buy fresh produce when it is in season. This is often when it is cheaper. Otherwise, purchase produce canned or frozen to save money.
- Pre-packaged and “convenience” foods, such as bagged salads and pre-cut carrots, are going to cost more than the whole forms.
- Buy in bulk, if you will use all of the food before it goes bad. It has a cheaper unit price and the fruit or veggie will be closer to an actual serving size you are supposed to eat.
- Shop at the local farmer’s market! This will allow you to not only help local farmers in your area, but will allow you to save money by cutting out the middle man.
- Larger containers, such as a 2 lb container of yogurt or a 1 gallon of milk, will be less expensive per unit than their smaller counterparts.
- If you don’t use everything, freeze it when it gets close to expiring to preserve the shelf-life.
- Store brands are often less expensive than name brands.
- Buying in bulk will save money in the long run, for example a larger box of pasta.
- Bread and tortillas can be frozen for up to 6 months.
- Check the bakery! Their homemade breads are delicious and often available for a good deal.
- If your bread is about to go stale, turn it into bread crumbs, stuffing, french toast, or croutons.
- Try buying larger packages with a lower unit price. Repackage the meat when you get home and put what you are not going to use immediately in the freezer for later.
- Look for less expensive seafood options like frozen fish fillets and canned seafood.
- Eggs, beans, and legumes are great sources of protein that are also less expensive.
- Most stores get their shipments on Wednesday, so a lot of meat goes on sale Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.