People often believe that a healthy diet is less affordable than the standard diet. But this is not necessarily true. Opting for whole plant foods, rather than animal-based and processed ones, makes navigating the grocery store easier and more budget friendly.
When you eat plant-based, focus your time on the perimeter of the store. Go into the aisles only for items that you have come prepared for with a specific list, including things such as your grains, condiments, plant-based milks, teas/coffees, dried fruits, and sweeteners. A list will make your shopping experience easier and help you stay within your budget. Here a few more tips that will help you maximize the use of those grocery items.
1. Always buy your beans dried, then soak and cook them in large batches and freeze them in small freezer bags for later. Measuring out 1 1/2 cups makes each bag equivalent to one can, which makes it easy to choose the right amount for recipes.
2. Buy your greens in bulk rather than pre-cut or in bundles. This may require some extra time to wash, cut, and chop, but the extra five minutes is worth the savings.
3. Pack your lunch and snacks for the day, and use your leftovers. The money you save in not buying food prepared outside of your kitchen is money that can go much further at the grocery store.
4. Find out which grocery stores are cheaper for which items. For example, you may buy your produce at one store, while your staples and grains can be bought in bulk at another. Discount grocery stores often have the cheapest produce. Asian and Indian grocery stores are great for finding specific spices and ingredients that are expensive in your standard grocery store.
5. Make more frequent grocery trips, rather than buying everything all at once. This may require some extra time, but it can be as simple as spending 10 minutes picking up produce on your way home from work.
6. Your local farmers’ market is also a great resource for buying high-quality produce at the best prices.
7. Know your area. Get informed on all of the grocery stores near you, and take some time to explore and compare.
There are countless tips on eating plant-based on a budget. Check out these great resources for additional information.