Did you resolve to get healthier this year? You’re not alone. More Americans than ever have shown interest in improving their physical health and state of financial well-being. Whether you started 2017 by following a rainbow food guide or macro diet, or jumping on the Whole30 bandwagon, you might be finding that sticking to your plan can be pretty costly. Since we’ve experienced this first-hand, we reached out to Allison Stowell from Guiding Stars Nutrition for some savvy shopping tips that’ll help you avoid breaking the bank. Scroll on for her secrets!
1. Get organized. Helping people eat healthy on a budget usually comes down to being organized, Stowell says. “Keep the refrigerator clean and foods visible so that you can easily see what you have and what you need, and avoid food waste. Do the same for your pantry,” she advises. “Take a quick minute over the weekend to think about the week ahead. What nights will you be home to cook? Which days are your busiest?” She explains that cooking when you have time will also give you leftovers when you don’t — both saving you money and helping avoid the temptation of unhealthy and pricey takeout.
2. Set a specific goal. The more specific each healthy eating goal is, the better chance you have to be successful. “Resolutions to ‘eat better’ are not as sustainable as goals like ‘eat a more colorful diet’ or ‘eat two-three vegetarian dinners per week,'” she explains. “Not only will specific goals guide your meal planning and shopping, but they’ll also help you focus your shopping on the foods that help you meet each.” Even more, once you’ve pinpointed something you want to achieve, you’ll stop wasting cash on foods that don’t help you meet your goal. Bye, wasted calories and cash!
3. Stalk and hit up sales. “Once you set a specific goal, it’s easy to take advantage of sales that’ll help you to meet it!” Stowell exclaims. She notes that the produce section sales change weekly, along with the fruits and veggies in your grocery store’s frozen foods section. “Switch it up to take advantage of these promotions,” she advises. “I also recommend taking advantage of private label products, which are generally the most affordable on the shelves, to save extra cash while sticking with your healthy goals.”
And while shopping the sales is an awesome way to save, Stowell reminds us that just because a food is on sale doesn’t mean it’s a good deal for you. “Use a shelf tag program to ensure that you buy the foods that are truly healthy and not just the ones with clever packaging.”
4. Stick to your plan. Once you set a healthy eating goal, the key is sticking to it. “Just because you see something interesting that you may want to try in the store doesn’t mean you should snap it up right away,” Stowell says. Stay healthy on a budget by researching foods first or finding recipes that will allow you to use each new find. Where do you look? Foodie blogs and Pinterest always seem to make our mouths water.
How do you save money while sticking to healthy eating goals? Tweet us your secrets @BritandCo!
(Photo via Getty)