If you're still wearing your winter body, spring is the perfect time to start turning things around. With the weather warming up, you can exercise more easily outside without having to pay for a gym membership. In addition to saving money on exercise, you can also save on healthy foods to support your new exercise plan. Here are some frugal healthy shopping tips to help you stay on track:
  • Stick to the outside of the store. The outer aisles of any grocery are where you'll find the whole food items like produce, meat, and eggs. Avoid the inner aisles that are full of processed foods and snacks that will throw you off your diet.
  • Plan your meals ahead of time. By planning your meals each week you can create a shopping list and only have to make one trip to the grocery store. This cuts down on impulse buys and reduces the likelihood that you'll just settle for eating out.
  • Shop the sales for in-season produce. Check out the weekly flyers you get from local grocery stores each week before you start planning your weekly meals. Try to incorporate the sale items as much as possible to take full advantage.
  • Take advantage of farmers markets and CSAs. Farmers markets are a great place to get fresh, in-season produce at a great price. CSA programs are great too - you can get monthly or bi-weekly boxes of fresh produce for a reasonable price.
  • Buy in bulk when possible. Take advantage of sales to stock up on bulk items that you can easily store such as frozen veggies, meat that can be frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables.
  • Don't be afraid of frozen food. Frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh ones and they are easier to store and sometimes cheaper. Just avoid frozen dinners and meals made with calorie- and salt-heavy sauces.
  • Try new things as often as you can. Many grocery stores offer produce items that you may be unfamiliar with but can actually be very tasty. Don't be afraid to try new things, especially if they are going on sale.
  • Be smart about using coupons. Coupons are a great way to save money, but you should only use them on items you were planning to purchase anyway. Don't use a coupon to buy something you don't actually need just because it's cheap.
  • Take your time and don't shop hungry. When you're in a rush or feeling hungry at the grocery store, you might be more prone to impulse buys. Create a list ahead of time, plan when you are going to shop, and then take your time to make sure you get the best deals.
  • Keep track of your spending. It's never a bad idea to create a budget, especially when it comes to grocery shopping. Track how much you tend to spend on food over the course of a month or so to create a budget and take a look at other things such as how much of that food you throw away or store for the next month.
Eating healthy doesn't have to be expensive and it doesn't have to mean buying organic products. By shopping smart, you can save money on healthy foods to feed your whole family. Don't be afraid to try new things and to get creative with different cooking methods!

Frugal Village