Have you ever read an article outlining all the foods necessary to be healthy? The lists can go on and on, and for people that have to shop consciously, it can be overwhelming. People who shop for groceries on a budget have to take into consideration how long each piece of food they buy will last. Wether its a college student feasting on noodles every night or a family of six spending hundreds of dollars on groceries each month; making the switch to an all around healthier diet is daunting.
Many of the “get healthy with nutrition” style articles will tell you how many calories a day you need to take in to either lose, maintain or gain weight, and which kinds of foods to buy, but few to none of these articles take into consideration how this will impact your bank account. There is good news though-shopping for healthier foods and completely revamping your diet is easy with just a bit of food and fiscal knowledge.
When I first started to buy my healthier foods I was on a very small grocery budget; less than one hundred and fifty dollars a month. After I had researched which foods I should start buying, I decided that my next grocery endeavor would completely satisfy my new diet plan. I went to the store and used my entire budget on foods that were considered healthy. What I didn’t realize was how little I had actually bought. The groceries didn’t last me through to my next scheduled store visit, and I was stuck borrowing money from friends and family. A few of the items that I had purchased one or many of didn’t suit my tastes the way I thought they would, so I also ended up eating foods that I didn’t like out of necessity.
Here are tips to help you start integrating healthier foods into your grocery budget:
- Don’t try to buy everything at once. Gradually fill your cabinets and refrigerator with these new foods.
- Learn slowly how to make meal combinations from a variety of different items.
- Buy only one of each item to learn if it’s something you will eat everyday before buying it in a larger quantity.
- Don’t worry, at first, about the exact percentages you need of proteins, carbs and fats for however many calories a day diet you’re attempting. That will come naturally as you expand your new meal plans.
- Try to shop more weekly than monthly, this will allow you to buy more of the foods you’ve already found that you like without waiting so long to buy them again.
- Unless your doctor tells you that you need to go on a crash diet for health reasons, you don’t need to make the full transition in one go.
There are many ways to save money while buying healthy foods at the same time, here are a few:
- Buy off brands rather than name brands. Do not do this all at once either, you might find some off brands that you don’t really care for.
- Simply transfer from white to wheat breads and pastas (the pricing will usually be the same for both).
- Take in-store savings seriously, many stores offer very good deals on both their brands and name brand items.
- Buy your meats and side items in portions that will be easy to divide and integrate into many meals.
As you start collecting more and more health conscious foods, your pantry will be stocked less with junk food each month. Eventually you’ll be able to grab anything from your kitchen and know that what you’re about to snack on is good for the body and for the wallet.