How to Shop Healthy and Save Money!

Patient Expert

How to Save Money When Buying Healthy Food

There are a number of people who desire to change their eating habits to something more healthful but don't do so simply because the cost of eating healthy can be pricey. People eat what they can afford, so if the desire for better health is negated by the cost of healthy eating, the choice makes itself. Healthier eating doesn't have to be out of reach, though.

How to Save Money When Buying Health Food

Here are a few suggestions as to how to make eating healthy more affordable:** No impulse purchases.** Before you go to the market, know what you want to buy. Have a grocery list prepared, and stick to the list. If it is not on your list, don't buy it.

Have an ** educated grocery list**. Educate yourself about what type of food you should be purchasing to promote better health. If you already know then turn your knowledge into action.

Know good carbs from bad carbs. Good carbs include beans (cooked from dried), raw fruits and fresh vegetables and keep blood sugar and insulin levels stable while providing long-lasting energy. Bad carbs includewhite flour, refined sugar and white rice and anything made from these ingredients. Bad carbs cause blood sugar levels to jump and provide only short-term energy.

Avoid added sugars. Read your nutrition labels as the majority of processed foods have added sugars. Sugar has many aliases such as corn syrup, molasses, brown rice syrup, cane juice, fructose, dextrose, and maltose. Too much sugar can have harmful effects on metabolism and contribute to disease. It is bad for your teeth and can lead to diabetes and cancer.

Protein is important! Common protein sources are red meats such as beef, lamb, and pork. Examples of protein sources other than meat are nuts and eggs. Poultry and fish are animal sources of protein that are not red meat. You can buy smaller amounts of poultry and "stretch" your dollar by making stews, soups, and stir fry that contain a nice balance of vegetables. While fresh veggies are best, money can be an object.** Frozen veggies as well as frozen fruits are good second choices** if fresh proves to be too expensive. Frozen bags of fruit and veggies should contain no additives, and the nutrient levels are usually equivalent to fresh.

Canned or jarred seafood is affordable compared to fresh fish and can be a healthy choice. For example canned salmon is much cheaper than fresh and provides the same healthy omega-3s. Be aware that canned fish often comes with added salt so check the label for low-sodium or unsalted options.

It might be useful to plan your meals ahead of time to help ensure as precise a grocery list as possible. And make sure your list has absolutely no junk food on it!

Where to Shop for Affordable Fooarehouse and club stores often have great bargains, and** ethnic markets** offer affordable fresh fruits and veggies. If you are going to buy at conventional grocery stores,** store brands and generic brands** will be cheaper.

Farmers markets are another good choice. Local farmers bring their fresh product to you in an open air environment and often sell below store prices. If you arrive toward the end of the market day, you might get perishables at a cut rate.

Joining a farm share ** community supported agriculture** (CSA) is a fine option as well. You will often be getting organic produce at a price that is cheaper than a grocery store. The variety is also attractive. My husband and I have gone this route a few times and enjoyed the experience. We went into the fields and picked our own veggies, not only were they fresh, but we had our choice of vegetables right off the vine.

Related articles:** Yes You Can Eat Healthy on a Budget**

New Study Tries to Bust Perception about the Cost of Healthy Foods

Legumes: A Good Meatless Protein Source

How to Avoid Junk Food Temptation

Community Supported Agriculture is a Tool for Eating Healthy

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