You shouldn't have to empty your bank account to stock your fridge. Although you may be experiencing this now. According to recent research, 83 percent of consumers have noticed an increase in food prices in 2022. Paying nearly double for your regularly scheduled healthy foods can seriously dampen motivation to continue eating clean.
w for the good news! Alyssa Pike, RD, Senior Manager of Nutrition Communications at the International Food Information Council (IFIC), is here with some stress-relieving shopping tips that can help you save money and eat clean despite rising grocery prices!
Focus on diversity, but keep it simple
Your food choices don't have to be fancy to nourish your body while trying to stay on a budget. "If you're trying to save money on grocery shopping, stick to your tried-and-true meals while still focusing on combining your meals and snacks with multiple food groups," says Pike. If possible, include carbohydrates, protein, fat and fiber in every meal. "This could look like pasta with meat and chopped or roasted vegetables on the side, or rice, chicken and a simple salad with dressing," adds Pike.
Most of the time, rice and pasta - two great complex carbohydrates - are reasonably priced and can be enjoyed as leftovers for other meals.
Syda Productions / Shutterstock
Take inventory before going to the store (it minimizes food waste)
“Part of the fight to save money on groceries is to reduce food waste at home. So try to incorporate items that are already in your pantry or fridge when you're thinking about what new items to buy," says Pike. This can seem like pulling everything out of your pantry and writing down how much groceries you already have. Ditto for your fridges: take notes to avoid overspending.
Africa Studio / Shutterstock
Plan to use your freezer
Items like meat, poultry, seafood, bread, fruit and vegetables can all be stored in the freezer to extend their shelf life. "If you're preparing meals, you should even consider doubling the recipe and freezing half for later," advises Pike. Although this is an extra step in meal prep, it saves money and time, and your future self (and bank account) will thank you. Investing in a vacuum sealer when freezing food can help store food longer, preserve food flavor and texture, and save space in your freezer.
Igor Kisselev / Shutterstock
Don't be afraid to use coupons
This crazy coupon lady doesn't look so crazy now, does she? "Don't be afraid to use coupons or (if available) shop at a few different stores," says Pike. Simple: "Take a few minutes to check the current coupons or deals at your local grocery store and see if you can come up with some meal ideas based on what's on offer."
Luckily, many stores now have apps that allow your phone to scan their coupons at checkout or view daily savings deals.
Buy in bulk
Buying in bulk can take up more space but will quickly save you money and trips to the store. For example, you can buy rice at BJs Wholesale Club (Organic) for about $8. Proceed to the frozen fruit section and you will see the same thing; more bang for your buck and lasts longer while providing the same amount of nutrients for your body.
Saving money while maintaining a clean lifestyle doesn't have to be stressful. By taking these steps and putting them into action, you will have more control over what you put into your body and what you withdraw from your bank account.