When I first started couponing I would buy any food that was a good deal. I didn’t worry too much about the health factor, just that we were pearing our budget down further. Then during the summer I started paying more attention to my food and wanting to purchase unproccessed, healthy foods for my family. It started being worth it to me to make sure my family was getting the health benefits of a diet that was much heavy in produce and unproccessed foods, even if it meant spending a little more on my grocery budget.
Here are some tips for saving money while on a healthy diet:
Make what you can from scratch:
Sure buying that bottle of pasta sauce seems way more convenient but when I started reading the ingredient list I realized that it was not all that healthy. I can make my own pasta sauce for pretty inexpensive and it is much healthier than the processed varieties.
When you are willing to try to make things at home you will get less additives and more nutrients for a lower price. One of my favorite products to make at home is bread. If I were to buy a whole grain organic loaf of bread at the store it could be $4.00 but making it at home I can get a healthier option for under $ .50 a loaf.
Shop in season:
We have the convienience of being able to buy any fruit or vegetable any time of the year but the cost is much higher when the produce is out of season. Plan your meals around produce that is in season and you will save a lot of money.
When you are shopping in season, check out farmers markets in your area. The produce is locally grown and picked at it’s peak so you are getting the best flavor and nutrients.
Local farms are a great way to purchase berries during the summer, we like to stock up and then freeze the extras so we have a lot of antioxident rich berries when the winter comes to make smoothies or just snack on.
Watch for sales and coupons:
There are coupons for produce and healthy foods occasionally. They don’t come as often as the processed food coupons but continue getting your papers and clipping coupons because you will find coupons that will benefit you.
Watch the sales, I try to stick mostly to the produce that is on sale to get the best deal. Fred Meyer, QFC and Safeway all have great produce sales. You have to be patient and not impulsive to be able to stretch your dollars. This week pineapples and mangos are on sale so that is what we will be having for fruit. Next week it may be peaches and strawberries. I find that we still get a good variety of fruits and veggies we just have to wait sometimes to get what we are really craving.
Clip coupons for non-edible products:
If I am saving a good portion of our budget by using coupons for our toiletries, paper products, medicines, ect.. that leaves more of my budget to use on healthy food for our family. I don’t pay for toothpaste, it used to cost me $3.50 per tube so that money can automatically be used for healthy food options instead of toothpaste. Just by being aware that with sales and coupons I can save my family money on some of our essentials I have made a huge impact on the way my money can work for me.
Just remember that because you are eating healthy does not mean you need to throw budgeting and saving money out the window. There are so many areas of your life you can save money in, it just takes a bit of creativity and work. Then sit back and watch your dollars stretch.