You know you should eat healthy, but with food rates rising, it seems impossible to save money on health food. Does this sound familiar? Since they don’t make coupons for lettuce and tomatoes, it almost seems impossible to lower your food bill these days. So how do people actually afford to eat like a nutritionist? Here are 8 thrifty tips you haven’t thought of yet to save money on health food so you can eat well without breaking the bank.
1. Get off the "Organic Only" Bandwagon
Sure we would all love to buy everything organic, but it is no secret that organic foods cost more and make it very hard to save money on health food. If you are going to buy organic produce from supermarkets, which are usually higher than farmer’s markets, then learn to buy conventional produce items low in pesticides, which usually include items with outer rinds like onions and potatoes. Besides milk, which should be bought organic, try to only choose 2-3 organic items per grocery trip and try to buy ones that are on sale versus sticking to the same products each week. Wash your produce thoroughly when you get home to get rid of dirt and residue from transit. Many conventional items can still be as nutritious as organic items.
2. Only Visit the Store Once Every Week
Most women enjoy grocery shopping and think it is best done every few days, but when it comes to shopping healthy, impulse control is key to save money on health food. That trendy new protein bar or glowing bushel of organic apples won’t be as hard to resist if you only walk by them once during the week instead of several times per week.
3. Make a List and Stick to It
Plan out your week effectively so you don’t run out of food, or end up throwing things away. A good idea is to keep reasonable amounts of produce per week to prevent spoilage, such as 2-3 containers of fresh greens, 1 container of frozen as a back up, 2-3 fruits per week and 1 package frozen fruit as a backup, along with 5-6 vegetables per week. Try to pick items that are on sale and rotate what you buy so it will feel like a treat, not a punishment. If you don’t run out then don’t buy as much next time.
4. Look Online to Find What Coupons You Can
Typical couponing is not for the health food buyer. Luckily, there are a few items such as almond milk, Greek yogurt and some produce items that are easy to find coupons for. All of these are usually on the web and easy to print. Try Couponmom.com and Coupons.com for up to date coupon information. Try MamboSprouts.com and CommonKindness.com which both offer coupons for exclusive healthy products. Some companies will also send you a coupon if you contact them through email, or have coupons on their website you can print. Many also have coupons on their Facebook page, so try searching online before you go to the store. Most stores offer coupons on their website as well, so visit your favorite store’s website beforehand to plan out which items are on sale with what coupons offered from other websites to save the most money.
5. Try the Farmer’s Market Instead of the Grocery Store
When the farmer’s market opens up, take advantage of the opportunity to save money on food from the direct source. It will be cheaper, more nutritious, tastier and in season, which is better for the environment. All of these factors will save you major dollars on health food.
6. Try Visiting More Mainstream Stores That Offer Store Rewards
Instead of going to the trendy health store each week, try conventional supermarkets. Most states have stores that offer major rewards and coupons each week, even for healthy items. Combine what items that are healthy and on sale with as many coupons as you find on the web and in the newspaper circulars, and you can lower your grocery bill effectively and still be able to buy healthy products.
7. Rotate Buying Your Expensive Items
Don’t buy all your meats, oils and seasonings in one week’s visit. These are pricey items that add up quickly. Buy one-two per week and rotate how many you eat. Decide what you really need versus what you want. In fact, to save even more on meat, pick 1-3 nights to eat meatless and have fun creating a new dish you find online or hear about from a friend . If you’re vegan, try rotating your proteins, nuts and grains. If you're vegetarian, opt for cheaper sources of non-meat protein such as humanely raised eggs. You’ll still get a nutritious food for less cost per serving. Also opt to choose lower cost items in exchange for higher cost items such as sweet potatoes instead of trendy quinoa all the time, or bagged beans instead of canned.
8. If You Buy Health Products Buy Them Online
So you’re into protein powder and other health products? That’s great, but buy them online and not in stores, where you’ll pay double the amount. Most online sources also offer free shipping, such as iHerb.com, Vitacost.com and Amazon.com. These online sources usually offer competitive prices on trendy health items and even run sales different weeks, which may benefit you even further.
It is quite easy to save on health food once you take these steps into action. Healthy eating can be quite easy and simple when you combine as many savings as you can with thrifty tips like these. Search for less expensive recipes to make things fun, and try new dishes so you don't feel deprived. Do you have any thrifty tips to save on health food?