You can still eat smart while on a budget! How? Check out these 6 tips for eating fresh and staying healthy! 1. It is important to know what foods are in season. When a food is in season, grocery stores have abundance and you will not be over paying. Also, some grocery stores are now offering "misfit" produce at a lower cost. 20-40% of produce that is harvested does not make grocery store shelves due to odd size, shape, color, or scarring. This produce may not look appealing, but is very fresh, tastes great, and costs less!
2. It is a good idea to read ads and compare pricing in different grocery stores. Try grocery shopping at a discount grocery store. When you find a good deal on fruits or vegetables, buy them in bulk. Once you get your produce home, prepare them to be frozen in the serving sizes you want. You may need to wash, cook, and/or cut prior to freezing them. Frozen fruit is delicious in MWLC shakes and smoothies.
3. Buy your meat fresh when it is on sale, cut and weigh serving size to your preference, and then freeze the portions for future use. Buy simple cuts of meat and do the fat and bone trimming yourself. You will pay more for meat that is pre-sliced. Look for other sources of meat in your area, any local butcher shops, meat lockers, or farmers that will sell meat below grocery store price.
4. Don’t forget to shop at your local Farmer's Markets, some are even open year-round. When you shop at Farmer's Markets, you are cutting out the middleman (the grocery store) and paying the farmer directly. You will be buying produce in season and in its freshest form. This is a great way to get fresh produce at a cheap price, buy in bulk, and freeze for when produce is not in season.
5. Be conscious of the serving sizes you are looking for when grocery shopping - purchasing a food in bulk (to prepare meals all week long) is often less expensive.
6. Holidays are a good time to fill your freezer! The best discount on turkey is around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Holiday sales can special meat at their lowest prices of the year. Be aware that some grocery stores have a points or rewards system for spending money. These rewards will build up and help discount some of your shopping expenses. Also clip coupons as much as you can to help lower your grocery bill.