Do you want to start eating healthier in the New Year? Healthy meals are good for you
and don’t have to be costly! There are a few tricks and tips to eat healthy within a
1. Plan a weekly menu. Taking the time to plan meals means huge time-savings and
money-savings when it comes eating healthy. A plan gets you organized and gives
you direction in the grocery store so you don’t buy something you don’t need. Take a
look at the food you have on hand before going shopping and just buy what you
actually need to prevent throwing food away.
2. Make a shopping list. And be sure you stick to the list! A list saves time and
money while grocery shopping. To keep your grocery list from growing too long,
make meals that have similar ingredients throughout the week.
3. Check the circular for deals and coupons. Or you can also check out your
store’s website. Higher price doesn’t always mean higher quality or nutrition—take a
moment to compare. Store brands can be the same in quality and nutrition and
lower in cost than brand name foods.
4. Focus on nutritious foods. Nutrient-rich foods include brightly colored fruits
and vegetables, whole-grain foods, low-fat and fat-free milk, cheese, and yogurt, and
lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, and nuts. Milk is a nutrient-rich purchase. At
about $0.15 per 8 ounce serving, milk is a nutritional bargain, providing 8 grams
of high-quality protein in each cup. Local food pantries also have milk on hand.
5. Buy in bulk. Many foods, like grains, are available in bulk for a lower price. They
also keep for a long time if you keep them in airtight containers. Instead of single-
serve fruit-flavored yogurts, buy a large container of plain or vanilla fat-free yogurt,
and flavor it yourself with fresh or frozen fruit. Frozen fruits and vegetables can also
be bought in bulk when they go on sale.
6. Factor in leftovers. Leftovers can be a lifesaver when you don’t have time to cook.
Prepare a large batch of favorite recipes one day and freeze in individual containers.
You can then use them throughout the week and save on eating out.
7. Eat at home. While it might be a bummer to have to do your own dishes, cooking
and eating at home is generally healthier and less expensive than dining out.
8. Shop foods that are in-season. If you compare prices of produce items when
they are in-season versus out-of-season, you’ll often notice an increase in price. So
try to stick to purchasing foods that are in-season. And if you are really craving
strawberries in December, check the frozen foods section for a great deal! And
canned or frozen fruits and vegetables are a good bargain because they can last a
long time, so stock up when they are on sale!
For great deals on foods that are always in season, head straight to the dairy section of
the grocery store. You’ll always find milk, cheese, and yogurt and a variety of brands and
prices, all year round.
Editor’s Note: To learn more, visit milkmeansmore.org