I like to eat, eat, eat, apples and bananas!

As I began to write this post, I was reminded of one of my favorite Barney songs. It’s one of those songs aimed at getting kids to make healthy eating choices. Once we become responsible for buying our own food, we want to eat healthy, but our wallets simply don’t allow sometimes. These are some tricks I’ve learned from a variety of sources that have worked pretty well.

Use coupons– I saw an episode of Extreme Couponing on TLC where a guy got $885 in groceries for free! He also spent 30 hours a week preparing for his shopping trip by gathering coupons and researching grocery store sales, so it’s a tradeoff. This is an extreme –hence the title− case of couponing, but if you go to the websites of some of your favorite brands, they’ll usually have money saving coupons you can use. CouponMom.com is also a great resource. If you want to do extreme couponing, here’s a link from the shows’ website with tips from extreme couponers.

Buy in season- I just went to the grocery store and there were kiwis 3 for a $1! If fruits and vegetables are in season they are usually really cheap. If your favorite fruit or veggie isn’t in season, they should be cheaper in the frozen food section.

Change your priorities- Making the decision that
eating well is a little more important than clothes or entertainment in your budget, could give you more money in the food category to buy better food. Think of all the money you’d be saving on medical bills in the future by focusing on your health and eating well :).

Don’t follow a recipe- Don’t follow them instruction by instruction, but use them more as inspirations. Many call for random ingredients that you don’t immediately have on hand, and it runs up your grocery bill. So be creative! Be inspired from the recipe to make the meal your way by substituting things you already have at home or are less costly than the ingredient in the recipe.

Farmers markets- Fruit, vegetables, meat, and
grains are usually cheaper here because they are from local farms.

These have been very effective for me in trying to eat healthy on a
budget. It may be a challenge for some to follow every suggestion, but maybe picking one or two will help you toward the goal of eating better. Have you tried any other methods that have worked well?

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