The economy is taking its toll on everyone, and I know a lot of people have lost their job or their spouse has lost their job. So I feel I should definitely be spreading my knowledge of affordable foods to everyone, so that we can all eat healthy (somewhat) for a decent price. Eating healthy doesnt have to cost you $100 per person per week, in fact, eating healthy can be considerably cheaper than the non-healthy crap that they try to sell you.
1. Buy produce local if you can. Sometimes local produce stands and markets are half the cost of walmart or wherever. This makes a HUGE difference in your eating, so buy local and save money. You can also consider joining a co-op, which has tons of benefits and ridiculously low prices on food.
2. Watch your labels. When thinking of buying some things in bulk quantity, look closely. There are usually tags that say “50 cents per ounce” or whatever. One really good example of ripping off in the bulk buying department is the Light & Fit yogurt. 4 of them costs say, $2 and some change. But the 8 pack will cost you at least 4 cents more! Companies sneak these things in without you paying attention, so ALWAYS check your “X per ounce” tags!
3. Frozen fruits and vegetables that are not in season can be cheaper in the frozen food department. Check that out before forking over extra for the fresh variety. You can also buy in season fruits and vegetables in bulk, then freeze them if that is an option for you.
4. Avoid all of the inside isles. The frozen isle, the boxed goods isle, the cookie isle, all of them. Unless you know what you want from a specific isle, then don’t go down it! You WILL be tempted to buy something that you DON’T need that is on sale. Cookies and other junk food is often more expensive than fresh foods.
5. Buy cheap food, add vegetables. A good example is the Knorr Pasta Sides. Half of a package is usually around 300 calories, with protein, fiber, and other things. You can add spinach, mushrooms, peppers, frozen peas, fresh peas, and all sorts of things to give it even more nutritional value. The pasta sides are .98 cents a package, and 3 of them can feed a family pretty well. Adding vegetables wont cost you more than $5, if that. Instant meal, less than 20 minutes, less than $10.
6. Buy your fancy health food in bulk on Amazon. But only when amazon offers free shipping deals! Sometimes certain foods can be dirt cheap on amazon, such as granola bars or oatmeal. Which brings me to my next solution…
7. DONT buy in bulk if you wont eat it or use it. Buying 20 apples in a week doesnt make sense if you wont eat 20 apples in a week.
8. Join a coupon train. Its where a group of people get together, the starter packs an envelope full of coupons, and sends them to someone. That person then takes what they need (need being the keyword) adds some other coupons that they dont need, and sends it to the next person. It continues and everyone benefits! Raid your newspaper and the internet for coupons. One site that I use frequently for killer coupons is vocalpoint.com
That site is the best thing I have EVER signed up for. They will send you free things varying from razors to sample granola bars. I got a Venus Embrace razor once, along with 12 or so coupons for $4 off refills, as well as a “free” coupon and several BOGO coupons. They send me packages of coupons for a specific thing at least once per month. My most recent coupon book was one for the Tuna Sensations.
9. Buy foods that give you more nutrients for less money. 1 bag of beans will contain plenty of fiber, vitamins proteins, and calories, while 1 bag of chips will give you a whole lot of nothing except calories.
10. Quit eating dairy. Its gross anyway. 1 gallon of milk varies in cost, but its usually $2.50-$4 per gallon. How many gallons does your family drink per week? I know ours drinks at least 4. Go figure. Cheese slices? $4 for a package. Ice cream? $3-5 for a quart or so. Its wasted money! You can buy soy flour and make soy milk for less than $2 per gallon! Its easy, and tastes just as good. Promise.
These are all tips that I have used in my life, and ones that have really helped me! I hope someone can benefit from these.