June is Men’s Health Month, so we reached out to our dietician to get some information for how men can eat right, but not spend too much money. Here are her ten tips for eating right in an affordable way:
- Plan Menus & Make a List: A sure way to overspend is by wandering aimlessly through the aisles and putting whatever looks good into your cart. Instead of this, plan menus and write a shopping list for the week. You can also look for menu planning and recipe help on your supermarket’s website. There are many feature tools for planning and pricing meals.
- Use Coupons & Reward Cards: Did you know that the Sunday inserts in your local paper have anywhere from $50-$75 worth of coupons in them? Clipping or printing coupons from different websites can save you 10-15% on your grocery bill. Also consider joining your supermarket’s shopper’s club.
- Buy Store Brands: The Food Marketing Institute reports that 56% of shoppers say they are economizing by buying store brand products (also known as private label). Private label brands are often 15-20% less expensive than their national brand counterparts while the quality of the food may actually match the national brand.
- Buy on Sale and in Bulk: Cruising the aisle for sales and on shelf-stable items or products you use regularly is a great way to save money. However, only buy larger quantities if you have the space to store and use the food before it spoils.
- Compare Unit Prices: Use the “unit price” (price per pound, ounce or pint) to compare national brands with store and generic brands, or bulk and economy-sizes with single-serve or regular-size packages. Many stores show the unit price on a shelf tag.
- Read Food Labels: Compare ingredients and nutrients using the Percent Daily Value. Purchase more nutrient-dense foods by keeping the saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium low while going for more fiber, vitamins and minerals.
- Shop the Perimeter: Fresh produce, meats, dairy and breads tend to be on the outer perimeter of supermarkets, so start there before hitting the inner aisles for other necessities.
- Shop Seasonally & Locally: Fresh produce often costs less when it’s in season and has less distance to travel. Visit a local farmer’s market or join a produce club to take advantage of seasonal fruits and vegetables.
- Keep Foods Safe & Prevent Waste: Use dating information (“sell by” and “best used by”) to help select the freshest foods at the market. Put cold and frozen foods in your shopping cart last and store them right away in the refrigerator or freezer. Store foods once you’re home so that those with the oldest “sell by” dates will be used first.
- Pay Attention at the Check-Out: Make sure prices ring up as advertised or as indicated on the shelf label, especially for sale items. Some stores will even give you the free item if they make a mistake on the price.
It may seem like eating healthy can be too expensive, but following the tips listed above can help cut down some of your costs without sacrificing your healthy lifestyle.