Nutrition Articles

Grocery Store Steals and Tips

How to Eat Right and Save Too!


Trying to eat healthy on a tight budget? An important part of starting a healthy diet is to be supermarket savvy. At times, eating the nutritious stuff can cost a little more than the unhealthy foods you might consume, so it’s important to know how to get the most out of your buck when you stop at the store.

Here are some tips on how to save:

Plan your meals out for the week. You’ll be more likely to avoid impulse buying. Chances are, if you do succumb to spur of the moment shopping, you’ll not only add to your bill, but also make selections that are not the healthiest foods. Plus, if you have a plan for each night, you’ll be less likely to spend money at a restaurant.

Glance up and glance down! Some manufacturers actually pay more to have their food placed at eye level, and these products are often pricier than other brands. Better deals will probably be found above and below this. To save money, all you have to do is look.

Take your time. Go when you’re not in a rush and when you’re not tired. If possible, it’s also a good idea to go alone. You avoid little ones sneaking extras into the cart or fussing until you buy that box of new, cool dinosaur-shaped cookies. Save yourself the peace of mind and leave the kids at home. If you are able to go slowly and without distraction, you’ll have more time to hunt around for better buys.

Bring a calculator. If you’re really serious about saving money, gauge the cost per ounce to compare different brands and sizes. The biggest size is not always the best deal. Be flexible with the brands that you buy. Oftentimes, the store brands taste just as good as the national brands and come at a fraction of the cost. Don’t be afraid to experiment. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Clip it. Coupons really can save you money. Yes, it takes time to go through the paper to find them. But in the long term, these can add up. A warning: only use coupons on items you are buying anyway. If you buy items you don’t want just because they are a "deal," you’re not putting your money to good use.

Shop in season. Fresh fruits and vegetables are an important part of any diet, but they can be costly. To avoid this, buy produce when you know it’s in season. It’ll be cheaper and taste fresher. For example, blueberries are in season from late spring through summer, so try picking up these nutrition powerhouses then. They’ll taste great, cost less, and give your diet a boost.

Grow it yourself. It might take a little extra time and energy. Still, not only is it cheaper in the long run, but there is nothing like the satisfaction that comes from serving food that you nurtured and cultivated yourself. These fruits and vegetables might even be healthier than the store’s produce: they won’t have been exposed to harsh pesticides or been transported on a truck. It might be unreasonable to expect you to farm dozens of plants, but a couple of pots on the deck or porch are pretty manageable.

Look for inexpensive items. Some fruits are cheaper than others, like bananas (loaded with potassium) , watermelon (in season), and oranges (especially in the winter). While apples are often cheap, the prices of other fruits, like pears, can beat them depending on the season.  Canned veggies, which can be just as nutritious as fresh varieties, make another affordable choice. Watch for cans of beans for around the same price. These are full of protein and are great additions to many recipes. Eggs, also a good source of protein, are cheaper than meat, too. A lot of healthy foods might be featured as weekly specials. Keep your eyes peeled for the deals.

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Member Comments

  • A local food store will shop forvyou. You give them a list. They shop and bag it you pay. The cost is $5. I can spend a lot more than that in impulse buys.
  • Little steps lead to big changes.
  • Thanks for the pointers.
    Thanks for sharing
  • I like the stores that print out the breakdown of costs per ounce or per serving. Often I find that the smaller sizes are more of a bargain.

    Also, sometimes sale items are pricier than brands not on sale. if I grab a sale item from an end cap I will go to it's home on the shelf to compare costs. Those nickels and dimes add up!
    I shop at a food coop & purchase organic or minimally treated produce. Also there is such as variety of fruits & veggies, nuts & other organic products I shop there every 2 weeks. purchase from big box for staples like oatmeal, rice, beans. I shop big box obce every 2-3 months.The savings from the big box help me have enough for organic products.Thats how I even out purchase price increase for organic food so I can stay within budget.
  • Don't go shopping when you are hungry! You will save a lot!
    Fast Weight Reduction Plan
    Fat-free foods happen to be popular for a long time. However, these foods are often not low in calories. Lots of people complete with fats absolutely free or lowered unwanted fat cookies and desserts. When ingesting a lesser amount of extra fat, they will eat additional processed sugars and carb supply, which can be full off energy and may be changed into fats saved in your body. As necessary, the chubby population still is escalating despite a large use of fat-free food. This means that which a fat-free eating plan is not actually the reply to shedding weight. .... continued reading
    It's possible that we will be moving in another two or three months (if the local real estate market cooperates) so I've been looking through my existing pantry and frozen items. Yikes, you'd think I was auditioning for one of those reality shows about survivalists or hoarders. It will be interesting to see how many healthy meals I can conjure up with what I already have on hand. With dried beans alone I could feed an army. The lesson here: your kitchen goods expand to fit the storage space available.
  • I love fresh veggies. But I will use some frozen.
  • Frozen veggies are very close to fresh in my book.
  • Dried beans are typically cheaper (and lower in sodium) than canned beans - all you have to do is soak them overnight when you know you're going to use them, and voila!

    We also make a ton of soups in the winter, and have started making our own veggie stock using leftover vegetable scraps. The ends of carrots, zucchini, scallions, potato and onion peels, etc. You keep a ziploc bag full of the scraps in the freezer - once the bag is full, it's time to add water, boil for several hours, then drain and freeze the stock! Cheaper, and with WAY less sodium!

About The Author

Liz Noelcke Liz Noelcke
Liz is a journalist who often writes about health and fitness topics.

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