One of the first things that come to mind when you think about eating healthy is the expensive trip to the grocery store. But swiping your card at Kroger does not have to feel like you are signing your life away for a loaf of spongy gluten free bread. The trick is to shop smarter, not harder.The first thing I usually do is create a list of things that I already have in my kitchen and then, I make a separate grocery list of things that I need to purchase.
Meat, Fish, and Poultry:
My shopping list usually has two or three selections of meat, fish, or poultry. These can include but are not limited to ground turkey or chicken, chicken breast, lean beef sirloin, flank steak, salmon, and tuna. I would suggest freezing your meats to preserve it longer and save money.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when grocery shopping is buying too much fresh produce and letting it spoil. A good rule of thumb is to choose two or three fresh vegetables that you can incorporate into different meals throughout the week. The same goes for fruits! This is especially helpful if you are shopping for one person. Only buy what you think you will be able to consume. If you want to save more money, you can buy frozen bags of vegetables and fruit. They are just as nutritious as fresh produce.
Dairy and Alternatives:
I’ve recently become an unsweetened almond milk fan because it lasts for so long, has fewer calories, and no cholesterol or saturated fat. If you want a good source of protein, unsweetened Greek yogurt and egg whites are the way to go. I usually opt for one or two small bags of low-fat cheese for my meals.
Grains are a great source of fiber and they have a long shelf life. I would suggest looking for whole-wheat bread, pasta and wraps if you decide to purchase those items. Quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal, and popcorn are good choices for grains. Make sure you read the nutrition label to look for lower sugar and sodium levels. You can even choose a store’s private label brand to save yourself some more money. Most grocery stores offer a reward program which saves you money when purchasing their private label items.
- Ground Turkey
- Your choice of fish (salmon, tuna, etc.)
- Carton of Egg whites
- Your choice of one cheese
- Greek yogurt (unsweetened)
- Almond milk
- Unsalted nuts
- 2 or 3 selections of fresh fruit
- A bag of spinach
- Olive oil
- Frozen veggies (broccoli, corn, peppers, etc.)
- Quinoa or rice
- Low-sodium seasonings
- Popcorn with less sodium and “butter”
- A bag of wraps
Saving money when buying groceries is not as hard as it seems. The key to this is buying only what you need for the week and planning accordingly. Happy Shopping!