There’s an easy way to tell what a person is like. Just take a look at the conveyor belt as they checkout at the grocery store. What’s on it? Healthy food? Junk food? Convenience foods? What you see is what you get. We all make a conscious effort of putting certain things onto the conveyorbelt.
What does your conveyor belt look like? And then… what does you bill look like?
I’m a bit of a perfectionist. So I like making outcomes optimal. With that said, this post is about how to shop health while also being frugal. I’m not going to mention specific items to buy. We each have our own preferences. Instead, I’m hoping to educate you on what it means to be a savvy shopper. Once you understand what’s in this post, you’ll be able to balance health and frugality like a seasoned vet. Let’s get going.
The first thing to note is that when you walk into a grocery store, the perimeter of the store is where the healthy food is located. Fresh foods. Produce, dairy, meats, fruits. Most of the interior aisles should be avoided. They contain processed foods with ridiculous amounts of added salt and sugar.
Next, you want to focus on food that offers a good value. Don’t just look for the cheapest option. Foods that contain good value are things like lean meats or healthy fats that are found in nuts, avocados, etc. Again, focus on value. A $1 avocado will sustain a person much longer than $1 worth of (insert name of junk food here).
It’s also important to vary your diet. This way, you get lots of different vitamins and nutrients and you won’t need a multivitamin supplement. Getting your energy from whole foods is best. It’s natural. There’s no need to pop expensive pills. So although one product may be on sale, avoid eating tons of it that week. If the deal is too good to pass up, buy it to freeze.
And here’s some good news. You can shop at stores like Whole Foods. There are deals to be found. Just watch out for the crazy things you can buy like $10 bottles of water. Crazy. But there are many things that are the same price as at other grocery stores.
Here are a few other things to remember: take a shopping list, don’t shop when you’re hungry, use reusable grocery bags and try to shop at off-peak hours. All of those should be pretty self-explanatory. Except the reusable grocery bags are because some grocers give you a discount for using them. Or sometimes it’s manadary at certain grocers. Shopping at off-peak hours is handy because you won’t feel rushed. If we feel rushed, we tend to throw stuff in our carts in a much quicker fashion. And with so many people around, it’s easy to get distracted from your mission. And we all know… time is money.
And that is how you grocery shop on a budget but keep things healthy. As I mentioned in the intro, it’s really a matter of knowing what to do on a regular basis rather than seeing what’s on sale this week. It’s an evergreen approach to grocery shopping. It’s also super simple. Enjoy grabbing those groceries!
I’m a personal finance freelance writer and webmaster. I welcome you to visit me at www.thefrugalpreneur.com