Healthy Eating Has Benefits But Can Cost More

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I’ve always been a huge coupon person. Yes, I’m usually that person that you don’t want ahead of you in line because I’ve got a stack of coupons to use. I love the extreme coupon shows and websites, and I aspire to someday get a massive cart of groceries for $2. Imagine the squealing if that ever happens.

There are all kinds of coupons for pasta dinners, cookies, crackers and pudding snacks. Unfortunately there are rarely coupons for the foods I eat now. Every now and then you find a coupon for meat or veggies but it’s usually combined with something – like $1 off hamburger when you buy buns. As a result, my food bill has gone up. Ugh.

You see, something that you don’t really hear about is the expense of eating healthy. Everyone says that eating healthy is less expensive. If you regularly coupon, this isn’t true. They also tell you that you’ll save a ton in fewer doctor’s visits and missed work from being sick.

True, but it’s still hard to stomach the weekly food bill that’s in your face right now with the hopes of saving later. Here are some things that I find make it a little easier to bite off and chew (ha!) the cost of healthy eating:

  • Meat MarkdownsScan the bargain meat bin for items reduced for quick sale. These are usually getting ready to expire, but you can take them home and freeze them right away or cook them and freeze. If you do this that same day, there’s no danger. Just don’t let it sit and then take action.
  • Buy fruits and veggies that are in season. These typically cost less since they aren’t forced to grow or made to travel long distances to get to you. If you eat with the seasons, you’ll also get a better variety of tastes, vitamins, and nutrients.
  • Look for cheaper cuts of meat and slow cook them in your crock pot to make them more tender. You can also marinate and beat the heck out of them to tenderize. This works out some aggressions as a bonus.
  • Coupon anything you can like toilet paper, cleaning supplies, toothpaste, hair color and so on. You can still save money there even if you can’t on fresh meat and produce.
  • See if your store has a price matching policy and match whatever you can. We have a really cheap chain of grocery stores here that is too far of a drive for me. I have a friend save the circular from the Sunday paper and have my store match the prices. Poms for 67 cents each that were selling for $2.89! Bam!
  • Buy store brand if you can. Green beans are green beans whether packaged by a green giant or by a Walmartian. Don’t pay extra for the name if you don’t have to, and skip those pre-packaged with sauces. If you insist on eating your veggies coated with sauce, at least make your own.
  • When meat goes on sale, stock up if you’ve got the freezer space to handle it. Turkey goes on sale around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Grilling meats are cheap around the 4th of July. Buy as much as you can fit and freeze it in smaller batches to use later.
  • This is a tricky one, but sometimes it pays off to join a warehouse club like Sam’s Club or Costco. You’ll need to do a bit of math for your family to figure out if it’s worth it to pay the annual membership. It also helps to check them out first to compare their prices to your local grocery store. Most offer a day pass for this.

I’m still trying to think of other ways to save so if I come up with more, I’ll let you know. What are some things that you do to save money at the grocery store?

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