Anne is the Coordinator of the MA Children at Play Program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Making healthy choices on a budget sometimes does not always seem so easy! The cost of fresh produce alone can sometimes leave you wanting to head for the snack aisle! But it is possible, and easier than you may think, to make bring home the healthy options without going broke.
Buy produce that is in season. Fruit and vegetables that are grown in the summer will be at their lowest cost during those months, rather than in the winter time. Berries, plums, peaches, and nectarines are plentiful in the summer. Buy some at the store or pick some at a farmer’s market. Freeze whatever you don’t eat and you will have berries in the off seasons!
Head to the freezer aisle at the grocery store! Frozen fruits and vegetables are picked at their peak, so they are just as healthy for you as fresh. If you prefer the convenience of canned vegetables, make sure you pick the ones with “no salt added” and rinse with water before cooking to get rid of any extra sodium. Canned fruits are another option—just make sure they are packed in their own juice or water, with “no sugar added.”
Clipping coupons is a great way to save money. You can find coupons in the newspaper, print them out from different coupon websites, and some may be delivered in your mail. Many stores double manufacturer’s coupon values and may also accept competitor’s coupons. Looking at the store’s flyer ahead of time will give you a good idea of what is on sale each week. It is a great idea to write out a list of what you want to buy. Sticking to the list will help you avoid impulse purchases!
Every bit of savings adds up. Remember to buy in bulk when you find good healthy deals and pack your lunch to save on cash and calories. Staying healthy on a budget is definitely something you can do! Planning ahead and eating what’s in season will give you a great start in the right direction.
Check out more tips on eating on a budget.
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