Food is a pretty large expense, and it’s one that people tend to spend too much money on. Not only that, but we’re not always buying healthy. But you can spend less on groceries, so let’s talk about some options for a cheap and healthy grocery list for those of us that are budget conscious.
Cheap and Healthy Grocery List
There are a few key things to keep in mind when it comes to building your own cheap and healthy grocery list.
The first is to avoid pre-packaged meals like frozen lasagna or a freshly cooked chicken because you can do them cheaper on your own. The second is to buy ingredients that can help with several different meals—don’t waste your money on single use items.
With that in mind, here are some options to add to your groceries:
Breakfast varies in pricing depending on how big of a breakfast you liked to eat. But cheap and healthy options include:
- Scrambled eggs
- Coffee and milk (cream is more expensive and can’t be used as widely)
Lunch prices go up when you decide to eat out instead of cooking at home (if you can) or bring something to work. Simply bringing a packed lunch can significantly reduce your food expenses. Where sandwiches are in play, switch white bread for multigrain or whole wheat.
- Peanut butter sandwiches
- Salad (made from scratch, not pre-mixed)
- Fried egg sandwiches
Dinner tends to be one of the more expensive meals because of the additional protein (i.e. meat) we usually consume. Even so, there are ways to do it cheap. Here are some suggestions:
- Stir fry (chicken and frozen veggies)
- Baked potatoes (or simply a bag of potatoes that can be used for different meals)
- Chicken or pork (both cheaper meats)
Tips to Shrink Your Grocery Spend
When it comes to creating a cheap and healthy grocery list, there are a few additional ways that you can cut down your spend. Especially while in the grocery story where things can go awry fast.
Bring a List
Don’t wing it. It never works out well. I don’t know how many times that I’ve significantly overspent at the grocery store because I went without a list and tried to think about what I needed and what I already have. I failed, pretty much every time.
Don’t Shop Hungry
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it really does work. Don’t run to the grocery store to “pick up a few things” while you’re hungry. You’ll end up with things that look or sound good, not necessarily things that are good. And you’ll buy way too much!
Go With In-Store or No Name Brands
Most grocery stores have their own lines of popular products. While some of them simply aren’t that great and there’s no replacing the original, there are a ton of brandless products that are just as good as the original… and they’re a fraction of the price.
What do you put on your cheap and healthy grocery list?
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