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Tips for Buying Healthy Food without Breaking Your Budget

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Tips for Buying Healthy Food without Breaking Your Budget

Postby Scott » August 4th, 2012, 8:20 pm

Grocery shopping and eating at home is a lot healthier and cheaper than eating out. But a common complaint among grocery shoppers is that buying healthy food from the grocery store is expensive. Here are some tips for buying healthy food from the grocery store without breaking your budget.

Buy frozen vegetables - Frozen vegetables can actually be significantly healthier and more nutritious than the fresh vegetables because the so-called fresh ones are losing nutrients while they travel to the store and sit on the shelves. In contrast, the frozen ones preserve more of the nutrients from the moment they are frozen. In my experience, frozen vegetables usually cost significantly less, and then save me more money by not spoiling on me.

Watch out for "light", "low-fat", "fat-free" processed foods - The other day I saw a jar of pasta sauce that I usually get in a 'reduced fat' version, but when I looked at the nutrition facts it actually had more calories! Of course, the price for the 'reduced fat' was a lot higher. Even when the "light" version actually has less calories, the calories have often been replaced by some scary list of things that are arguably even more unhealthy such as cancer-causing artificial sweeteners. These processed food producers make slight adjustments to throw misleading -- even if in a sense technically correct -- labels on their food items and drastically markup the price because a lot of rushed consumers naively take the overall implications of the label as honest. A few weeks ago I saw a can of refried beans advertised as fat-free, but the whole can had only 1 less gram of fat than the regular version but was the same number of calories because of added sugar but cost over twice as much as the regular version even though both cans had the same amount of calories and were the same size. They are trying to fool you, so watch out.

Buy healthy ingredients, not processed or prepared foods - There is a myth that eating healthy is more expensive than eating bad. That's often true for the reasons explained in previous paragraphs when it comes to processed foods like frozen TV dinners. However, there are plenty of healthy foods that are actually very cheap. Eggs, skim milk, wheat flour, fat-free (or reduced fat) cheese, wheat pasta, dark green and frozen veggies are some cheap healthy foods that can be used as ingredients to make countless meals. Lean meat or certain vegetarian meat substitutes or tofu can be good too.

Buy healthy food in bulk to save - This may seem obvious. You can save money by buying in bulk. But you also can get your family to eat healthier too by stocking up on healthy food rather than eating out and by using the stockpile of healthy food to cook big healthy meals to eat as a family. You can even cook double or triple portions and freeze the leftovers, which is way cheaper and healthier than buying frozen, prepared foods to start. What I am saying is that you can look at buying healthy food in bulk as an all-around cultural change for your family that leads you to eating healthy, affordable food more often because it is already there in bulk.

What do you think? Do you agree with these tips? Do you have any other tips for buying healthy, affordable food from the grocery store?


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Re: Tips for Buying Healthy Food without Breaking Your Budge

Postby MikePryor » August 5th, 2012, 2:46 am

Thank you for these tips. I've started to work out recently, and I'm also trying to improve my diet. I want to make muscle gains without putting a hole in my wallet!

Buying in bulk has helped me to save money, but shoppers should be aware of specials and do the math. Sometimes, buying large quantities of smaller items can be cheaper than buying bulk items when there is a sale.

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Joined: August 4th, 2012, 10:27 pm

Re: Tips for Buying Healthy Food without Breaking Your Budge

Postby Jerlene » August 5th, 2012, 2:48 am

Great tips! But for me there is nothing better than fresh so I would never choose frozen vegetables over fresh vegetables. Fresh vegetables taste so much better anyway.

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Re: Tips for Buying Healthy Food without Breaking Your Budge

Postby MikePryor » August 5th, 2012, 4:57 am

I agree. Fresh vegetables do taste better, and I buy them when I can afford them and when I plan on eating them right away. Frozen vegetables are better than none at all, and Scott does raise a valid point about fresh veggies losing freshness while in transit.

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Joined: August 5th, 2012, 6:25 pm

Re: Tips for Buying Healthy Food without Breaking Your Budge

Postby angie828 » August 5th, 2012, 6:39 pm

Wonderful tips. I always buy in bulk as I find that it really does save me a lot of money. The bigger the package usually means I save more.

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Re: Tips for Buying Healthy Food without Breaking Your Budge

Postby michael_dans2 » August 6th, 2012, 9:17 am

I think that you cannot buy fresh vegetables in bulk otherwise they will be of no use later. For bulk purchase you have to rely on frozen vegetables. However, fresh vegetables have incomparable taste and always good for health.

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Re: Tips for Buying Healthy Food without Breaking Your Budge

Postby timajdad » September 6th, 2012, 4:17 pm

We have a desent size garden, with the standard vegetables. going to a formers market is a good way to save money.

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