Thursday, November 17, 2011

Shopping on a budget

Shopping for healthy foods can be expensive especially if you buy organic food like I do.  Here are some quick tips that can save you cash at the store so you don't have to break the bank to break your bad eating habits.

1) Avoid buying premade foods.-  Most of the time it is much cheaper to make your own meals than to buy something premade.  For example: for an organic burrito you may pay 2-4 dollars depending upon the store and the brand of the food.  To buy ten of these may cost between 20-40 dollars total.  For that same 40 dollars you could easily buy organic chicken or beef, all of your spices, organic beans, organic tortillas, and make 15 or even 20 burritos yourself.  Chances are your portions will be bigger as well!

Look for bulk bins like this at your super market for added savings at checkout.

2) Buy in bulk.  Often times you may find that you can find bulk bins at some health food stores where you can get organic foods like: oatmeal, beans, rice, lentils, nuts, and seeds for cheap.  Usually these bins pour out into one of the bags available from the store, you can either leave them in bags at home, or invest in some good tupperware so you can store foods longer.  This also applies to things like produce and meats, if these items are on sale or are cheaper per pound at a higher amount try to take advantage of it.  Often times I will see apples marked at 2 dollars per lb, yet there are 5lb bags for 4.99 in the same store.  I am not advocating buying more than you need, but if you will eat it or you can find a way to store it its a good way to save some money.

3) Shop around.  By not buying things at the first place you see them sometimes you can find them cheaper somewhere else.  For example I frequently shop at 3 different stores.  I have a rough idea in my head about what things are at each store, and where things are cheaper.  I may not be able to find seaweed at store b or c, so I have to use store a.  Sometimes a, b, and c all carry an item and then I of course chose the store with the lower price for the item in question.  This also applies heavily to online shopping.  You can often order bulk supplies from online cheaper than you buy them at the store.  Many websites offer lower prices for higher quantity purchases, make sure to check into this especially on bulk items and dried goods.  Nutsonline is a very good website for bulk dried goods and powders.

4) Avoid buying drinks.  Drinks you buy at the store like: tea, cola, juices,and lemonades can be incredibly pricey.  These drinks often are not filling and are usually pasteurized at high temperature which destroys a high level of the nutrients that may have been present before heating them.  Juices are also high glycemic, and don't usually provide dietary fiber.  To save dollars at the store, leave juices on the shelf and just buy fresh produce instead.

5) Pay attention to serving sizes and weight.  Some companies will engage in trying to trick their customers.  I often see two boxes of cereal sitting next to each other.  One box is significantly bigger than the other and also slightly more expensive than the other and it would appear the bigger box is the better value, but if you look closely you will see often times the larger box actually has less food inside!  By reading on the front label you can tell how much weight is actually present in the box.  Many companies use much bigger boxes to give off the illusion that there is more content, but reality is not always as it seems.

If you follow these guideline you should be able to save some dollars each week when you are buying your groceries.  If you have any other creative ideas, please feel fee to comment below and add your input!  Thank you to my readers, and please subscribe to email updates or add me on facebook if you haven't already to receive notification when I publish a new post.


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