It’s a common myth that eating a balanced and nutritious diet costs a bomb. In reality, it can actually be very affordable. With a bit of extra planning and thought put into it, filling up your trolley with delicious, fresh and nourishing food can be achievable for all budgets.
Here are our top tips for grocery shopping on a budget:
Make a plan.
Before you even get to the grocery store, sit down and plan out your meals for the week. This way you can then write a shopping list and not get carried away when cruising the isles. Buying only what you truly need is not only helpful when it comes to budgeting but also eliminates waste. We all know that guilty feeling when you open the veggie crisper and everything is looking sad and wilted. Need help planning your recipes? The Meal Plan and Shopping List functions in the JSHealth app have you got you covered.
Check out the specials online first.
If you like to shop at larger retailers or grocers, head online to their website and check out the specials section. That way you can take this into consideration when planning out your meals.
When it comes to buying fruit and veggies, opting for the produce that is actually in season will truly save you money. Don’t know what’s in season? A quick google search will help you find what is in season for your personal location.
Don’t be turned off by the ugly looking produce.
Most supermarkets or groceries will now have a section with produce that is not the most aesthetically pleasing. Rather than turn your nose up at a carrot with a few extra growths, pop these guys in your trolley instead. They are often half the price and it’s a great initiative to eliminate waste and support farmers.
Buy in bulk.
Grains, meat, rice, flours and everything in between. Buying larger sizes is a simple way to save. It also means less packaging which is a win for the environment. When it comes to meat, bulk portions, or meat that is not pre-cut is also cheaper. When you get home, slice it into portions yourself, pop what you are going to use in the fridge for the week and store the rest in the freezer. Keep an eye out for when your favourite cuts or proteins are on sale too and stock up then.
Add some plant-based proteins to your diet.
Not only are there multiple health benefits associated with increasing your intake of plant-based proteins, they are also wallet friendly options. Tinned beans and lentils are cost-effective and quick to prepare. Need some recipe inspiration? Check out these ideas.
Frozen fruit and veggies are your friends.
Did you know that when prepared properly, frozen vegetables can be more nutritious than their fresh counterparts? Veggies are snap-frozen once picked which means they retain a larger percentage of their nutrient content. They are generally cheaper and will not spoil. Super handy to have on hand for a quick stir-fry or to make a veggie and egg scramble.
Check out your local farmers market.
If you are lucky enough to live near a farmers market, they can be a great option when it comes to keeping costs down. Sneaky tip: head there just before the markets are closing for the day and you will often find they have reduced prices even further. Just make sure to go in with a plan and shopping list or you may walk away with more than you bargained for.
Research local fruit/veggie co-op options.
Each suburb or community will often have a fruit/veggie co-op or delivery service. The only downside of this is you often don’t get to choose what you get. However, this means you are constantly being exposed to new flavours and a wide variety of nutrients and seasonal produce! Many of these organisations also have a focus on sustainability and supporting local farmers.
Try ordering your groceries online.
Last but not least is the option of ordering everything you need for the week through online stores. They will also often deliver straight to you door which can be super convenient. As you select your items you will also be able to see how much everything is costing and not have that awkward moment at the checkout when you ask if you can put half your stuff back…We’ve all been there.