Getting Your SuperFoods on a Budget

superfoods on a budget
Dr. Geoffrey Harris, MD

Eating healthy does not need to be expensive. Here are some simple ways to get lots of SuperFoods in your diet without breaking the bank.

Prepare Yourself

  1. Take time to plan meals for the week and prepare a list. Keep to that list when you’re at the store to avoid impulse purchases.
  2. Try to eat before we go to the market because when we are hungry, it is harder to resist buying things that aren’t on the list.
  3. Shop with your spouse or a friend if you find yourself prone to buying things that aren’t on your list. They’ll help keep you on track.
  4. Look through the flyers that come from each of your local groceries and compare prices. Use coupons whenever possible.

Shopping Tips & Tricks

  1. Always look high and low in an aisle. Typically, higher priced items are at eye level and cheaper alternatives at the bottom or top of shelves.
  2. Buy generic when possible. Be sure to compare the labels, but typically the name brand and generic have the same nutritional value.
  3. Buy items on sale and in bulk.
  4. Canned tuna or salmon is a great way to include fish in your diet and it is very reasonably priced. Choose fish that is canned in water, not oil.
  5. Buy cereals and whole grains in bulk, without fancy packaging, and put it in airtight containers when you get home.

Smart Produce Purchases

  1. Choose produce that is in season. Fruits and vegetables that are in season will be more reasonably priced and will typically last longer.
  2. Buy apples, onions, potatoes, and oranges in large bags, instead of from the single or per-pound bin.
  3. If one of your favorite fruits or vegetables is on sale, then buy extra and freeze some for later.
  4. Buy frozen berries, fruits, and vegetables. Be sure to look at the ingredients to be ensure that there isn’t any added sugar or salt.
  5. Canned fruits and veggies are okay, but go for low sodium options, and produce packed in water or juice, not oil or heavy syrup.

Stop Yourself Before Your Wreck Yourself

  1. Stop drinking soda and bottled water. These are expensive items that can really add up.
  2. Get yourself a reusable stainless steel water bottle and fill your own water bottle with filtered water from home.
  3. Avoid processed food. Whether it is frozen or bagged or boxed, processed foods will be more expensive, and they’re not as healthy or nutritious because they tend to add lots of sodium, extra fat, and preservatives.
  4. Limit the amount of junk food, candy, chips, and cookies that you buy. These foods tend to be expensive and have very little nutritional value.

Final Thoughts

Shop at local farmers markets. They usually offer great prices on produce that’s extremely fresh but isn’t perfect enough to be on display in the local groceries. Many restaurants get their produce from markets like this.

Being creative with your meals also helps. I often make a filling SuperFoods Four Bean Chili that’s low-cost, tasty, easy, and it lasts at least two or three meals. My wife and I enjoy making extra dinner so that we have leftovers for lunch the next day. Going out to eat for lunch everyday can be expensive and often unhealthy, while bringing your own lunch is a healthier, typically lower-calorie option.

Once you start thinking in this mindset, you’ll likely find even more ways to get the most bang out of your grocery buck.

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