Eat cheap and healthy tips

Don’t overbuy

Just like with number nine, you need to be careful not to waste food, money, or refrigerator space. When you put all these steps together, you will naturally keep the waste to a minimum, but if you ignore them you will find yourself overspending and not being able to eat everything you bought before it goes bad!

Like what you buy

Liking what you buy is not the same as buying what you like, so take those ding-dongs out of the cart! This just means that you need to be realistic about what your family will eat. If you find a great deal on turnips but no one in your family will eat them, what’s the point? You’ve wasted your money and now you have to deal with a bunch of rotten turnips. Try new things (at a reasonable pace, don’t buy ten new things to try in a week, that will most likely be a waste of money) and keep track of what your family loves, likes, and is willing to eat.

Reduce sugar, it's expensive.

Sugar is costly, to both your health and your pocket book. Reducing the amount of sugar you buy will drastically reduce your food bill. And I’m not just talking about a 5lb bag of sugar, though I’m including it – I’m also talking about all foods that contain sugar, natural or otherwise. This includes fruit. Cutting down on sugary foods will also help reduce cravings for snacks between meals. I'm not saying you shouldn't enjoy a nice chocolate chip cookie now and again (or whatever dessert your family likes best), just be smart about it and don't go crazy :-)

Make a meal plan and stick to it

Making a meal plan is actually one of the most important things when it comes to eating healthy… whether you’re trying to save money or not. If you don’t know what’s for dinner there is a high likelihood that convenience will win out over health. Avoid this issue by always having a few meals in the freezer that can be tossed in the oven and ready in less than an hour. Related: Make a custom meal plan in less than 2 minutes with this free tool!

Buy in bulk when you can

This one is simple enough, but it does take a bit of pre-planning. We eat raw cheese and I try to buy it in bulk every 6 months. The 8oz block from the local grocer is $5.99, but when I buy it in bulk it’s only $3.40 (I buy 20lbs at a time). These little savings add up, but you do have to plan for the large upfront cost for each order. Plus you need to be prepared to store things appropriately.