Eating healthy, balanced meals is a great way to support a weight loss effort. Unfortunately, it can be very costly to buy the right foods to assist the waistline. A trip to the grocery store will quickly reveal that buying fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat and other healthful choices is a costly venture.
So, how can you eat right and still keep your budget in check?
Fortunately, there are some great ways to make sure you buy healthy foods without having to take out a loan in the process. Try these tips to save money on the groceries you need to support weight loss and health:
• Find a produce stand – Just about every community has at least one produce stand or plays host to farmers’ markets on a regular basis. When possible, try to buy fresh fruits and vegetables from these places. Courtesy of their low overhead and fresh-from-the-farm products, the prices tend to be a whole lot lower than those found in the grocery store. While you’re likely to only get seasonal items by shopping this way, the savings can add up fast.
• Buy in bulk – For items you know you’ll use a lot of and that can be preserved, consider buying in bulk. Large bags of whole grain rice, for example, can be stored in smaller bags and they’ll cost a whole lot less.
• Shop sales and use coupons – There are great savings to be had even in traditional grocery stores. They key is learning how to scout out sales and where to go to find good coupons. When possible, for example, use sales to stock up on lean meats and fish. Freeze items if you must to preserve the food – and your savings.
• Learn to handle minor butchering work yourself – Buying a whole chicken and removing the skin, for example, is a lot cheaper than purchasing boneless, skinless breasts.
• Grow your own, when possible – While not everyone has a green thumb, some fruits and vegetables can easily be grown at home. Most people can handle small herb gardens and things like peppers tend to grow quite well for just about anyone.
• Plan ahead – Whenever possible, try to plan out meals a few days in advance. Use store sales and circulars to help with the planning. There is nothing more devastating to a budget than running to the store on a nightly basis to pick up ingredients.
It is possible to eat whole, healthy foods and keep a budget well in check. The trick lies in planning and learning how to stretch dollars. If you’re looking for other great ideas on meal planning for weight loss, ask the professionals at your fitness center, myself or check with your personal trainer for advice.