5 Budget-Friendly Food Shopping Tips
Last updated: April 2023
While food costs may be on the rise, your blood glucose levels don't have to follow. There are plenty of healthy food options that can help keep those dollar bills in your wallet while bettering your type 2 diabetes control. So, use these savvy saving tips to make the most out of your next food shopping trip.
Budget tip #1: Prioritize plant-based
As if there weren't enough reasons to love plants! Did you know that a plant-forward lifestyle can help lower chronic inflammation and decrease oxidative stress often associated with negative health outcomes?1,2
Putting plants first in your eating plan may improve blood flow and arterial flexibility. That could decrease your chances of possible heart complications. People with type 2 diabetes are at greater risk for those complications. Not to mention, plant-forward nutrition may improve weight management and immune function.3-5
Plant-based proteins can be substantially less expensive than poultry, meat, and other animal products. So, help cut food costs by opting for tofu, tempeh, whole grains, and seeds. They are a fraction of the cost and do wonders for your health.
Talk about getting more beans for your buck! When possible, buy beans in bulk and then store them in clear containers. Label with a date for food safety. Nuts, seeds, and grains are also cheaper when bought in bulk.
Budget tip #2: Skip the pre-prepared foods
I get it. Coming home to a container of beautifully washed, prepped, and chopped produce makes mealtime a breeze. However, time is money! So, reduce your food cost without sacrificing ingredient selection by opting for the item in its original form. While it may create an extra task in the day, it's money well-saved.
Personally, I like to prep my produce once I get home from the store to get organized for the days ahead. That way, I can still whip up a healthy meal at a moment's notice. Or create easy grab-and-go packs of your favorite snacks!
Budget tip #3: Say bye to brand name
After all, isn't it the inside that counts? So, skip the well-known and masterfully marketed name brands and opt for the generic alternative. Most of the time, it's an extremely similar or identical product.
So, why pay the premium? Get a discounted product without discounting your health! Use your savings for other expenses or larger quantities of your go-to ingredients to create additional servings of your favorite dishes. Then, simply pre-portion your extra meals and pop them in the freezer for easy use.
Budget tip #4: Make a list
Check it twice! The reality is that creating a list provides a framework for your shopping trip, helping to minimize unnecessary purchases.
Eat before you shop
You are much more likely to stick to your food-purchasing game plan if you head to the grocery store after eating. That's right: a satisfied tummy makes for a savvy shopper. Indulgent items often feel less tempting after eating a meal, helping to improve your choices and stick to your shopping list.
First in, first out
A little organization goes a long way! Be sure to peek into your fridge or pantry prior to making your list to avoid double purchasing food items, contributing to unnecessary food costs. Put anything that is about to expire up-front and work that into your meal plan this week.
Then, when stocking your fridge and pantry, be sure to place newer items behind older items. This is called "First In, First Out" (FIFO). FIFO helps ensure items are consumed before their expiration date.
Budget tip #5: Shop seasonally
Seasonal foods are fresh and delicious, harvested at their peak. If you've grown fresh tomatoes or cucumbers or bought them at the farmer's market right after harvest, you know what I mean!
Seasonal foods are often more budget-friendly. Find a local farmer's market and shop around for the best stand prices. You can also compare prices between the farmer's market, grocery store, and discount grocers.
This or That
Do you practice portion control in your daily meal routine?
Have you tried to decrease the amount of bread you eat since being diagnosed with diabetes?
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