Have you ever noticed in the grocery store that a box of Twinkies is a lot less expensive than a bag of fresh fruit? During tough economic times, it’s tempting to save money by buying cheaper, less healthy foods to stretch your food dollar. However, there are healthy food options you can choose to save money without sacrificing your health.
Maria Boosalis, director of the Division of Clinical Nutrition at the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences, offers these tips for wise food choices:
• Shop the perimeter of the store, avoiding the middle aisles where higher cost, lower nutritional value items are placed.
• Familiarize yourself with good deals and use coupons to stock up on items that can be safely stored.
• Take your time at the store and read nutrition labels to see what you are getting.
• Buy fruits and vegetables in season. Frozen fruits and vegetables without added sugar, salt, or sauces can be nutritional bargains.
• Buy 100% whole-grain products for health. Buy extra bread on sale and freeze.
• Look for “manager’s specials” on lean protein and cook before expiration date. Dried beans can also be substituted for lean protein.
• Choose fat-free or 1 percent dairy products, for healthier nutritional value.
With some planning and creative ideas, it’s possible to shop for healthy bargains and still save money.
SHOP WITH A LIST It will get you out of the store faster and keep you from buying unnecessary items.
EAT FIRST Don’t grocery shop when you’re hungry.
COUPONS COUNT A few dollars a week can add up over the course of a year. Remember to take them to the store with you.
AD BARGAINS Check out the weekly grocery store ads and stock up on things that can be stored.
PORTION CONTROL Serving proper portion sizes not only helps control the food budget, it also helps control blood sugar.