You don’t have to drain your bank account to fill up your fridge. Although you may encounter this now. According to recent research, in 2022, 83 percent of consumers noticed an increase in food prices. Paying nearly twice as much for your regularly scheduled healthy purchases can severely dampen the drive to keep eating clean.
Now to the good news! Alyssa Pike, RD, Senior Director at Nutrition Communications at the International Food Information Council (IFIC)Here with some stress relief shopping tips designed to save you money despite rising food prices and keep eating clean!
Focus on diversity but keep it simple
Your food choice doesn’t have to be fancy to nourish your body while trying to stay on budget. “When trying to save money while grocery shopping, stick to your tried-and-true meals while still focusing on building your meals and snacks with multiple food groups,” Pike says. If possible, include carbohydrates, protein, fat, and fiber at every meal. “This might look like pasta with meat and chopped or grilled vegetables on the side, or rice, poultry, and a basic salad with dressing,” Pike adds.
Most of the time, rice and pasta – the two types of complex carbohydrates – are reasonably priced for food and can be enjoyed as leftovers for other meals.
Take inventory before you head to the store (reduces food waste)
“Part of the battle to save money on food is to reduce food waste while you’re at home, so try to incorporate items you already have in your pantry or refrigerator when you’re thinking about new items to buy,” Pike says. This may sound like pulling everything out of your pantry and writing down how many food items you already have. Same with your refrigerators: Take notes to avoid overspending.
Plan to use your freezer
Items such as meat, poultry, seafood, bread, fruits and vegetables can be stored in the refrigerator to extend their shelf life. “In fact, when preparing meals, consider doubling the recipe and freezing half for later,” Pike advises. Although it’s an extra step in the meal prep process, this will save money and time and will thank you in the future (and your bank account). Investing in a Payer Vacuum When freezing foods It can help food store longer, preserving the flavor and texture of food as well as saving space in your freezer.
Don’t be afraid to use coupons
That crazy coupon lady doesn’t look crazy now, does she? “Don’t be afraid to use coupons or shop (if available) at a few different stores,” says Pike. Simply, “Take a few minutes to review current coupons or deals at grocery stores near you and see if you can come up with some meal ideas based on what’s on sale.”
Fortunately, many stores now have apps where their coupons can be scanned via your phone at checkout or daily deals can be viewed for saving.
Buy in bulk
Buying in bulk may take up more space but is quick to save money and trips to the store. Rice, for example, you can buy a four-pound bag of BJs Wholesale Club (organic) for about $8. Head over to the frozen fruit section and you’ll see the same thing; More bang for your buck, lasts a long time and hosts the same amount of nutrients to your body.
Saving money while maintaining a clean eating lifestyle doesn’t have to be stressful. Taking these steps and putting them into practice will give you more control over what you put in your body, and what you take out of your bank account.
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