Eating healthy foods is a key component of any successful weight loss diet, but have you ever noticed that the healthier the contents of your shopping cart, the higher the total on the cash register can be? That doesn’t need to be the case. Dieting on a budget is possible.
Dieting on a Budget Can be Challenging
Groceries are expensive at the best of times, these days, and it doesn’t look like that is about to change, so it can start to feel as though it’s impossible to afford healthy, weight loss-friendly foods when you’re on a budget. Fortunately, there are some tricks that you can learn to make sure that you can save as much money as possible on your bill from the supermarket, without having to scrap your hopes to eat healthier meals and shed those extra pounds.
There Are Ways to Squeeze More from Dieting on a Budget
Use the following to help you to buy the healthiest foods for dieting on a budget so you spend as little as possible at the supermarket:
Don’t shop while you’re hungry
Your own growling stomach can be your worst enemy when you’re walking up and down the grocery store aisles. Before you know it, you’ll be stopped in the junk food aisle, loading up on chips, or pulling frozen lasagnas and pizzas out of the freezer section because you feel starving and know that you won’t want to wait for your food to be ready once you arrive home. Instead, snack smart before you head out so that your brain, not your belly, will be in control of your decisions.
Make a list of what you want, check the sale flyers, and clip coupons if there are any. This may seem like a pain at first, but when you see the difference that it actually makes, you’ll definitely know that it is time well spent. This technique will not only bring you the best possible prices, but it will help you to know exactly what to buy so that you can dramatically reduce the amount of food that you buy and that you don’t need. The most expensive thing that you can do is throw out food that has gone bad before you had the chance to eat it.
Buy whole foods
The bags of chopped-up veggies may offer a lot of time savings, but they are considerably more expensive than their pre-chopped counterparts. If you want to enjoy the convenience of cut-up veggies and still save money, reserve some time on grocery day to do all of the chopping in advance. Then, when you need an item, you can pull it out of the fridge, pre-prepared.
Shop generic brands
Nearly every product that you buy has a generic alternative. Give them a try. While there will be some items that you’ll still enjoy in certain specific brands, you’ll likely discover that, for the most part, generic alternatives are just as good, and the savings will add up very quickly. This makes dieting on a budget a lot easier.
Shop in bulk
Shopping in bulk is one of the best ways to get the most from every dollar you spend. This is particularly true when you shop at a bulk store that allows you to bring your own containers and weigh them before you fill them. There are many reasons that this is a great way to shop, even beyond the fact that you are making a very environmentally conscious choice that reduces the need for single-use packaging.
Consider the following reasons that you should start visiting your bulk store more frequently – or the bulk aisle in your grocery store if you’re fortunate enough to have one – in order to make purchases of the types of products they sell there.
- You only need to buy as much as you need. Therefore, if you’re trying a recipe for the first time and aren’t sure if you’ll like it, but it requires you to use the sugar substitute, erythritol, you don’t need to buy a large amount of this expensive sweetener. You can purchase just as much as you require for the recipe. That will mean you’ll be able to afford the dish even when dieting on a budget
- You don’t have to pay for the packaging. When you buy a product in a package, the cost of that packaging is worked into the final price you pay. The packaging isn’t given to you for free. Therefore, if you buy a bag of flour, you’re also paying for the bag. If you purchase a jar of peanut butter, you’ve also bought a jar. The same thing goes for that box of cereal you read on the table every morning. If you bring your own containers and fill them at the store, you pay only for the food you buy and not for any packaging or the weight of single-use plastic bags.
- You won’t throw out stale or expired food. If you buy in bulk and only purchase what you need, you won’ tend up throwing out as much food. Every time something goes bad and you toss it into the garbage or compost, you’re throwing out the amount of money you spent on that item. When you buy only what you know you’ll need, you won’t throw out as much money, which is great news if you’re dieting on a budget.
Make large batches of meals to get the most from dieting on a budget
Make large batches of meals. That way, you’ll not only have lots of leftovers and frozen portions for another day, but you’ll also save money. When you’re dieting on a budget, being able to buy larger cuts of meat and larger jars of ingredients usually means you’ll get a better deal. Therefore, cook as though you’ve got a huge family. You’ll not only save money on the ingredients you buy, but you’ll save time because you’ll always have ready-made healthy meals in your fridge and freezer.