Eating healthy is so expensive?!
But it doesn’t have to be. Below is a quick guide on where, when, and how to buy healthy food cheaply.
Basic principals of the food industry:
- The government subsidizes low-quality food products such as wheat, corn, soy, and sugar.
- These are highly prevalent in our food supply and will usually be the cheapest option while also being the least healthy option
- More convenient=more expensive
- CVS/Riteaid/walgreens always charge insane amounts for their products because of convenience. The only time I shop here is for extremely reduced clearance items or in a pinch when I have no other options.
- Frozen and canned
- Some foods are ok to purchase frozen or canned and will save you money
- Others almost entirely lose their nutritional benefits after being canned/frozen
- Frozen vegetables
- Frozen meat/fish
- Frozen grain-based items
- canned beans (watch the salt)
- canned meat/fish (watch the salt)
- Less good
- frozen fruit
- canned fruit
- Go off of price/lb or price/oz or price/unit rather than total price.
- Sometimes the purported discount isn’t as good as it seems.
- Find out where the clearance sections are and check them every once in a while
- New products are always coming out and frequently fail. Take advantage of the companies trying to dump their products and cut their losses.
Keep your eyes peeled for discount tags and always check the weekly circulars
- Always a good choice if not the best
- Deals are harder to find here but most of their prices are similar to Aldi for basic staples
- Sam’s Club
- If you shop to feed a lot of people and avoid wasting food, this will be a great option for you.
- Trader Joe’s
- If you avoid meat and prepackaged goods most of these prices are manageable, especially for the higher quality that you will get.
- Shop-n-save/Kuhn’s/Community Market
- Whole Foods
- Above Giant Eagle because the prices are marginally higher in most cases while providing much higher quality food.
- Giant Eagle
- They are extremely monopolized and have a large group of loyal customers. I am appalled at the prices every time I walk in here.
On a side note, Big Lots is a great spot for occasional clearance shopping for cheat day food (energy drinks, chips, sauce, crackers, etc)
- Buy seasonal fresh produce
- Watermelon in the summer
- Oranges in the winter
- Google is a great resource to see what grows when
- Stocking up in bulk during sales is a great way to save
- Hams go on sale once a year and can be frozen for ~6 months
- Bread will occasionally go on sale and can be frozen
- Special holiday sales are a great time to stock up on non-perishables
- Don’t be picky!
- Try new fruits/vegetables you have never had before
- Google recipes to cook them
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Our bodies don’t need as many calories as we think
- Fruits and vegetables fill us up without overloading on calories/salt/sugar
- Cook more frequently
- It can be difficult in our busy society but I imagine if you have read this far you might have some time for cooking ?
- Buy in bulk when possible
- Companies are willing to drop the price on goods when you buy more of them because it increases their sales
- Don’t waste food and in the end you will be the one profiting
- Tracking sites like: http://www.fitnessdealnews.com/
- GNC clearance
- By the 5th of every month they reduce the price on supplements that expire soon
- Most will barely lose quality but be careful
- Vitamin shoppe clearance
- Vitamin world clearance