Money Saving Tips…

Hi all!  I made it home from my travels and am looking forward to settling back into routine here.  There’s so much to do over the weekend to get myself caught up but I’ll be back in action next week so stay tuned.  I was contacted by the folks behind www.coupons.org who offered to do a guest post on my blog to provide readers with some tips on how to save money on healthy foods.  I thought it would resonate well with all of you so I gladly accepted their offer.  I hope you find the information helpful.  Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

 

How to Save Money on Healthy Foods

This post was written by Coupons.org’s resident writer, Ella Davidson. Coupons is a consumer savings site that strives to save consumers more than just a few pennies.

Whole Foods means you spend your Whole paycheck. It is a joke that has been circulating around the organic and natural foods community for some time. Even though the joke that turned myth has been easily debunked, it still speaks to the idea that buying organic and healthy can be costlier than buying food from the local grocery store. But this does not always have to be the case; with a little forethought and cunning you can manage to buy healthy foods at half the price.

Every good meal begins with preparation. Planning ahead and preparing a meal plan helps cut down impulse purchases, allows you to collect as well as use coupons, and helps you decide where to buy. I know I always end up the sucker to impulse purchases and if I fail to plan ahead I end up with prepackaged food that has an ingredients list straight from NASA’s next space adventure: Maltodextrin, Monosodium Glutamate, Sodium Caseinate, Disodium Inosinate, and Disodium Guanylate. But those are just some of the ingredients in a bag of Doritos Chips. To think that if you planned ahead you could have spent the same amount of money on a whole and filling salad or, if you are like me, a healthier bag of potato chips.

If you are trying to save money while buying healthy, then the second key alongside preparation is to buy nutrition and not quantity. Ever wonder why you get hungry an hour after eating off McDonalds’ dollar menu? Or how much nutritional value actually exists in a Pepsi or a Coke? That is because most fast food and many splurges like potato chips or cookie dough add calories to your day but they add very little nutrition. This means you end up eating more junk because those hunger pains come back a lot quicker than normal. If you plan ahead it makes it a lot easier to avoid these impulse buys and quick fixes to hunger. Instead, planning ahead means less junk in the shopping cart, smaller portion sizes, and more meals cooked at home which overall leads to a smaller food budget.

Now maybe you are already in the swing of preparation. Maybe you already plan and cook all your meals at home but you are looking to make the switch to healthy foods. If that is the case, then try using some of the same money saving tricks that you use on normal food for the healthy food instead. For example, when I try to save money I go to Costco and buy in bulk. Well, why not buy bulk when it comes to healthy food? Most healthy food stores have bulk sections that contain a plethora of common items like flours (gluten-free included), beans, grains, almond butter, and even many alternatives and special purchases. Choosing bulk will help you save money because it cuts back on the cost packaging and the cost of a brand name.

Now here is where buying healthy food gets a leg up on the grocery store when it comes to saving money: local food. Not only does it help save the environment, but local foods help keep that green in your back pocket. If you buy in season local produce it saves on shipping and preservation costs. We all know how expensive mangos out of season from the tropics can cost. The best places to buy local, cheap, and healthy are farmers markets, co-ops, and farms. They can bring the savings on to you since the food came straight from the farm: you can buy wholesale without having to fund large transportation, administrative, or corporation costs.

The largest contention that I hear with buying healthy is that these local foods—vegetables, fruits, unpackaged fresh meats, and unprocessed foods—spoil quicker than jerky sticks or other prepackaged snacks. I would say that this falls largely into the planning category. Try using the same foods you purchase for multiple meals, or try buying more versatile foods. Also, get smart on purchases. For example, buy frozen fruits and vegetables. Many times frozen is just as healthy, they stay fresh for much longer, and then you get to incorporate healthier foods into your meals and snacks. Or even simpler, pack yourself a healthy sack lunch of leftovers on your way to work or school. It is healthier, keeps food from spoiling, and is by far cheaper than eating out every lunch.

So next time you sit contemplating a four-layered, fried chicken, triple-patty, and cheese from a can junk food snack, instead think of how you would feel after a delicious home cooked healthy meal. Satisfying, delicious, fresh, and light on the wallet—all things I love to see in the food I eat—so why not make it healthy too?

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Money Saving Tips…

  1. Mae says:

    Wow, their post is really long.

  2. Erica says:

    Kinda disappointed in this content. I plan out a menu for the week based on my stores circular AND the items that are TRULY on sale, not just ‘pretending’ to be on sale (I keep track of prices week to week…) and then make one big trip a week for everything I need. I buy generic brands for the most part and they are cheaper than name brand items even with a coupon. I do NOT shop at Wal-Mart because I don’t buy name brand and their store brands are more expensive than generic. I can typically feed 2 adults, 3 kids (including breakfast, packed lunches, snacks and suppers) for about $120 / week. If I am extremely frugal with the types of dishes, I can go as low as $70 / week. These are homemade meals, not prepackaged things. Not always healthy meals, but they get the job done.

    • Jamie says:

      Hi Erica- I think it’s great that you’ve been able to find a money saving system that works for you. Thanks for sharing your tips!

      I think the author of the article was simply trying to point out some tips for buying healthy options in a more cost effective way since healthy foods do tend to add up quickly. One thing that has worked well for me is buying foods like almond flour, hazlenut flour, etc… in bulk as it is much less expensive that way than buying them one small bag at a time. I also find that we buy far less food now that we are eating wholesome, filling foods versus foods filled with preservatives and sugar that left us unsatisfied and craving snacks all day long. I think it’s all a matter of finding a system that works well for your family and rolling with it.

      I know there are a lot of people who read this blog but have no choice than to buy health foods because of allergies and other health issues. There are also quite a few readers who do not wish to buy packaged foods (either name brand or store brand) as they are often filled with genetically modified foods and other harmful ingredients. I agreed to this article so those readers could arm themselves with information on how to make the process of buying those healthy options a little easier on the wallet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>