Nutrition Articles

Grocery Store Steals and Tips

How to Eat Right and Save Too!

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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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About The Author

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

Member Comments

  • MANDYCAT3
    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. - 11/29/2013 8:18:16 AM
  • I love fresh veggies. But I will use some frozen. - 5/12/2013 7:27:55 PM
  • Frozen veggies are very close to fresh in my book. - 1/5/2013 8:50:35 AM
  • 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! - 1/28/2012 10:47:33 AM
  • BLUEKITTY2011
    In some cases heating food actually releases nutrients (like tomatoes) and the foods they can are picked and canned immediately so they don't lose anything by laying around. - 10/11/2011 10:02:29 AM
  • I don't see how the author can say that canned vegetables can be as nutritious as fresh, unless the fresh being compared is the picked-before-rip
    e-and-probabl
    y-imported variety. The canning process often damages a lot of essential nutrients. - 10/11/2011 9:34:21 AM
  • I like to make a grocery list from the Sunday newspaper ads. Then I go to the pantry and the freezer to see what I have. We both need non- drippy non-souplike lunches, He eats while he drives, I eat in a quick lunch few minutes. Have to go to the employee lunch room, eat, restroom, and walk back to work station all in 20 minutes. So I bake protein bar types, make veggie egg crustless quieches, DH take sandwiches and home mede cookies. We try to do oat based breakfasts and really good dinners. We also shop for manager specials, end of date specials, store brands. When I can, I go to the local produce market (not really local) for better prices, and a chance at baskets of produce nearing end date. Great for soups and one pot meals that we have for dinners. - 10/4/2011 7:56:10 PM
  • K_RENEE
    I wanted to start shopping at local farmer's vendors, but they were more expensive than Kroger! I love fresh local produce, but I need to save money too. - 5/31/2011 6:59:28 PM
  • Living just a mile from the nearest Kroger store, we shop every afternoon for Manager's Markdowns - items that are going off date the next day & are usually 50% of the full price. It lets us eat very well on a budget. - 4/9/2011 12:12:15 PM
  • We are saving big right now by my creating meals from what we have on hand. Hubby and I purchase items when they are cheap, and sometimes we get too much in the pantry. It's fun and challenging creating healthy combos while keeping the week's grocery shopping to a bare minimum! - 3/4/2011 8:29:05 PM
  • Don't just make a weekly menu, take time to make a monthly menu and do one big shop. It really does save my family at least $200 when we do. Also, while going shopping on your own is a great idea on paper, it rarely works for most busy families. Have your kids help you shop. try to make it a game for them. The 99 cent store is a great place for in season fruits and veggies. Try to check there once or twice a week for great bargains. - 2/9/2011 1:40:46 PM
  • KRISDAV1
    Couponing is the next best thing to getting what you want for free. It takes a little while to learn, but the end result is that you can save big. Remember that if you don't want some items that you can get for nearly nothing you can always donate them to your nearest food bank. - 1/27/2011 10:58:07 AM
  • AKAFIT
    I find that while bargain shopping can take more time and effort, it is so worth it. I also have the added advantage of shopping at a commissary, so that often saves me tons more money because they will have case sales, other coupons, and other deals, plus no taxes. In this economy we can save and not compromise on our health! - 12/22/2010 9:13:21 AM
  • CATFAMILY1
    Last night I went to a country store where the prices were way to high. Well, I went to get some meat. Guess, I'd best stick to tofu. Plus, I,m learning about egg whites being good for us to. I like french toast and eggs and cheese in the microwave. Then there is beans. Good to. - 10/3/2010 7:59:22 AM
  • My family always compared prices at different supermarkets and buy things when they are on sale. And instead of buying things when they ran out, we buy things when we get good bargain. Sometimes, I'll be the human-calculator, have to calculate and remember different prices from different stores for my mother, haha. - 7/23/2010 12:00:51 AM

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