Shopping Hack: Healthy Shopping That Won’t Break the Bank
It’s that time of year. Resolutions are made. Goals are set. Now it is time to put them into practice. Did you resolve to get healthier in 2015 but are worried about how a change in your shopping might affect your wallet? Don’t worry! Healthy shopping doesn’t have to break the bank. These shopping hacks will keep your wallet fat, even if you are trying to slim down.
1. Make A List
Creating a list before you shop benefits your waistline and your wallet. Your shopping list helps you stay committed to purchasing healthy foods. Remember, if it isn’t on the list, it shouldn’t land in your cart. Use this simple rule to steer clear of diet ruining sweets in the bakery as you navigate the aisles of the store.
Another benefit of eliminating impulse buys at the store is more money in your pocket. An extra bag of chips or pint of ice cream might not seem like much as your toss it in your cart; however, those items can quickly impact your total at checkout. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found that when shoppers avoid impulse purchases, they can save up to 23% on their grocery bill. If you spend an average of $200 a week on groceries, that is a savings of almost $2,400 a year!
2. Don’t Shop Hungry
We’ve all done it before. You arrive at the grocery store ready to conquer the week’s shopping trip and your stomach starts to growl as you walk through the door and are greeted by beautiful displays of snacks and desserts. The stores are set up to encourage emotion and hunger driven impulse buys and a hungry shopper is the easiest target. Remember tip #1, impulse purchases ruin your healthy eating goals and enforce an “impulse tax” on your wallet. Easily fight those impulse buys away by eating first, then shopping.
3. Shop In-Season
Shopping for seasonal produce is a great way to introduce a health-packed punch into your diet. When you buy in season, the quality of the produce is going to be much better. Chances are, the produce wasn’t shipped from somewhere far away. Instead, it was grown much closer to home. This also means a lower price tag for these nutritious items.
If you really want to take seasonal shopping to the next level, find your local farmers market and shop on a Sunday afternoon. You can barter with the farmers because they would rather sell their goods than haul them back to the farm.
4. A Little Prep Goes A Long Way
It is definitely convenient to grab for the pre-packaged and pre-cut veggies and fruit as you walk through the produce aisle. There are some weeks that require the short cut and the convenience of the washing and chopping being done for you; however, you can save serious money by doing the preparation yourself. Try to setting aside an hour after your shopping trip to wash your greens and slice up your veggies. Not only will it help you save money, but whole fruits, vegetables, and greens tend to last longer in your refrigerator which means less spoiled food (aka money down the drain).
5. Check The Sales
Be a savvy shopper and check the weekly sales before you shop. If healthy items you use frequently are on sale, then stock up. Also pay attention to sale prices on seasonal produce and healthy proteins from the meat and seafood departments.
6. Use Your Loyalty Cards
After you’ve checked the sales and used your shopping list to stick to health items, don’t forget to use your loyalty card to check out. Lots of sale prices and store specials are only available to loyalty card members. If you forget to scan your card, you could miss out on big savings.