Ideas for smart shopping

It is commonly perceived that eating healthier costs more. Here we list ten useful tips to cut down cost of food and still achieve healthy eating:

 

1. Celebrate the season.

  • Use fresh fruit and vegetables that are in season.
  • They are easier to get, have more flavour, and are usually cheaper.
  • Your local farmer’s market is a great source of seasonal produce.

 2. Why pay full price?

  • Check the offers online; at the store look for sales, coupons, and specials that will cut food costs (clubcards).
  • Often, you can get more for less by visiting larger supermarkets (look for discounts if available).

 3. Stick to your shopping list.

  • Plan out your meals ahead of time and make a shopping list. You will save money by buying only what you need.
  • Don’t just shop when you’re hungry.
  • Shopping after eating will make it easier to pass on the tempting snack foods.

 4. Try canned or frozen food.

  • These can be as healthy as fresh food at a lower price, particularly when out of season.
  • Compare the price and the number of servings from fresh, canned, and frozen forms of the same veggie or fruit.
  • Canned and frozen items may be less expensive than fresh.
  • For canned items, choose fruit canned in 100% fruit juice and vegetables with “low sodium” or “no salt added” (read the label).
  • Make food in batches and freeze extra portions. You can also freeze some fruit and vegetables; bananas can be frozen without their skins on, and berries can be frozen. Vegetables need to be blanched (boiled for 1 -2 minutes) before freezing.

 5. Buy in bulk when items are

on sale.

  • Some foods can be stored for relatively long periods.
  • Canned or frozen fruits and vegetables can be bought in large quantities when they are on sale, since they last much longer.

 6. Buy small amounts of fresh foods frequently.

  • Some fresh vegetables and fruits don’t last long.
  • Buy small amounts more often to ensure you can eat the foods without throwing any away.

 7. Always look at store-brand products – it’ll save you money.

  • Opt for store brands when possible.
  • You will get the same or similar product for a lower price.

 8. Keep it simple.

  • Buy vegetables and fruits in their simplest form.
  • Pre-cut, pre-washed, ready-to-eat, and processed foods are convenient, but often cost much more than when purchased in their basic forms.

 9. Plant your own. At least certain herbs could be grown at home. 

  • Instead of buying a bag of herbs buy a plant and grow it!
  • If you have gardening space herbs, cucumbers, peppers, or tomatoes are good options to start with
  • Browse through books or online for more information on starting a garden

 10. Plan and cook smart.

  • Prepare and freeze vegetable soups, stews, or other dishes in advance.
  • This saves time and money. Add leftover vegetables to casseroles or blend them to make soup.
  • Overripe fruit is great for smoothies or baking.