Groceries can be one of your biggest monthly expenses.
So how do you shop smart while still whipping up delicious and nutritious meals?
Follow these five tips and you’re on your way to walking out of the grocery store with healthier foods and less damage to your wallet.
1. Have a pantry party. No RSVP’s required. When creating a grocery list, start with your pantry. Most of the time you have items that need to be used before they go bad. Begin by brainstorming what meals can be created with what you have. Once you’ve taken stock of your pantry, then you can begin planning ahead and creating a list of what you really need. Before you head to the market, plan your meals for the week ahead. Also, with a grocery list in hand, you’re less likely to wander those junk food aisles and make impulse purchases. Repeat this: “That’s my grocery list and I’m sticking to it!”
2. Don’t go hungry. We’ve all been there before. Shopping while starving equals a whole lot of food we don’t need. Grocery shopping while your stomach growls and begs for those potato chips can make you vulnerable to buying more than you planned. If you can’t shop soon after you eat, grab a piece of fruit and drink a large glass of water before heading to the store.
3. Eggcellent! Eggs are loaded with protein and they are also good for your diet, so make sure these little buddies are on your list. Even better, they’re notoriously inexpensive. However, some brands and types like organic or cage-free definitely cost more, so make sure you comparison shop.
4. Beans in bulk. Make sure to buy beans dry and in bulk. Not only are the options limitless – black beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans and more – they are also very economical. Add beans to soup, salad or chili for a great source of tasty protein.
5. Mama always said to eat your fruits and veggies. And of course she’s right. Packed with much-needed vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, they should always be on your list. Since pre-cut vegetables and fruits are more expensive, buy whole items and slice them yourself. Make sure you also buy in season, when quality is up and prices are down. We Wisconsinites are lucky since there’s tons of local produce available at reasonable prices. And make a trip to your local Farmer’s Market, too – the values can be substantial, especially as the market’s closing time nears.