How to Buy Good Food on a Tight Budget
Posted By Noah Staum on April 23rd, 2019
Convenience is one heck of a temptress. Unfortunately, grocery stores and food brands know this and offer not-so-good-for-you foods in convenient, cheap packages.
When you’re watching what you spend, it can feel like you’re trapped into buying unhealthy food options, but here’s how you can buy good food on a tight budget.
Shop Ethnic and Bulk Supermarkets
Chain supermarkets are the most visible, but they are often not the most affordable. For the best prices on produce, meat and pretty much everything else, check out any ethnic supermarkets in your area. East Asian, Mexican and Indian markets often have amazing prices on all of your food staples.
Alternatively, if you’re a member of Costco, Sam’s Club, or similar, you’ll probably find that you can get the best value on many foods by buying in bulk.
Produce Is Your Best Friend
It’s the classic story of eating your fruits and vegetables, and it still rings true today. Not only are foods in the produce section generally the healthiest, but they are also quite often the cheapest way to eat.
Focus on multipurpose vegetables that can be used in all kinds of simple meals and recipes, like spinach and other leafy greens. You can often find baby spinach in bulk packs for only a few dollars a pack or less. It’s packed with fiber, iron and calcium.
Also look for broccoli, kale and avocados (especially when they’re on sale, which they tend to be often).
Related Story: How to Prepare 10 Simple Meals With Eggs
Make Sure The Eggs Come First
If you’re on a budget, chances are you won’t want to spend your weekly grocery allowance on expensive meats. Fortunately, eggs offer fantastic protein benefits at a fraction of the cost. Egg prices fluctuate a lot from store to store, so make sure you take note of costs at different supermarkets.
Once you find your go-to market, you’ll be able to stock up on eggs for the week without breaking the bank. Eggs also last for weeks in the fridge, so it can be advantageous to buy in bulk if you have the opportunity.
Eggs are great fuel, especially if you exercise regularly. They are a super adaptable food that can be used for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snack time. Definitely make eggs a staple of your diet.
Substitute Meat For Tofu
This may take some getting used to for meat lovers out there, but tofu is a good source of protein. Additionally, tofu is a meal centerpiece that is much cheaper than buying meat. At some markets, you can buy a full pound of tofu for a little as $1.00. How do you beat that?
You can’t, so it’s worth giving it a shot. Recipes like a tofu scramble are a super easy all-in-one pan meal that you can prepare easily with veggies of your choice. It’s great for any meal of the day and will keep you feeling energized.
Whole Grains Keep You And Your Wallet Full
Supermarkets are a minefield of refined grains and sugars. Don’t let them blow up your weight or your budget.
Whole grain foods contain a ton of beneficial nutrients and give you a very satisfied feeling. On the flip side, refined grains are not good for you and can negatively impact your health.
Shop for whole grain foods like oats and whole wheat products for your source of affordable, healthier carbohydrates.