For many people, one of the biggest obstacles to eating healthy is cost. Healthy food tends to be more expensive than junk food and other less healthy food choices. There are ways to eat healthy on a budget, though. You may have to put more planning into your meals and do a little studying to find great sales, but it can be done.
So for this first post we will address ways to get good deals on two departments of a grocery store that are a little more difficult to find deals for, the produce department and the meat department.
Most foods from the produce section don’t keep very long so you need to use the foods as you purchase them or within a few days of purchase. This can make it difficult to save money on fresh fruits and vegetables, but there are a few tricks you can try.
- Watch your sales. With the internet, it is easier now more than every to access the sales papers for many stores. Look through the sales papers and find the best sales.
- Join a co-op. Many communities have co-ops where several people pay into it and receive a portion of the fruits and vegetables at harvest or periodically.
- Visit a farmer’s market. Some farmer’s markets have lower prices than grocery stores. The bonus is that you will be supporting local farms. Some vendors at markets will cut their prices about an hour or so prior to the close of the market so if you go then you may get some deals – but you may not have such a great selection.
Meat is a little easier to deal with than produce because you can freeze it and store it for a while. So when you find a good deal on meat, get as much as you can and freeze it for later. Try these tips for finding good deals in the meat department.
- Look for sales. Keep your eyes open for great meat department sales. You might be able to pick up some good deals and stock up.
- Ask for smaller cuts of meat. Most meat departments will cut meat to your specifications. For instance, if you have a roast that is just too large (and too expensive) you can ask your meat cutter to cut it in half, making it more affordable.
- Check your meat department’s sale bin. Many grocery stores will put meat that is reaching its ‘sell by’ date in a special bin or mark it down. These meats are not bad, they just need to be sold. They will be just fine is you cook the meat that day or freeze it.
- Check with local farms. Some farms and ranches sell the meat they produce. Usually you get meat that is grain fed and does not have hormones added, Always ask, though.
We’ll explore these ideas further in later posts, but this should get you thinking.
What ways do YOU save in these departments?