You know that health food stores are the latest grocery craze in North America. These stores specialize in the natural, organic products, that are thought to be healthier than regular grocery items. However, these products are priced at a premium. How can you enjoy the benefits of health food stores without the high cost? Buying in bulk, looking for sales, and making meal plans that emphasize seasonal ingredients and cooking from scratch are all great ways to lower your bill at your favorite health food store.
1. Buy in Bulk
When you’re on a budget, look no further than the bulk bins for great cost savings. These large bins of pasta, grains, flour, beans, and spices can sometimes be half the price of their packaged equivalents. These are usually the exact same products, too, so you can be assured you’re still eating the highest quality ingredients. But, pay attention to the price tag to make sure the bins are indeed cheaper (sometimes packaged does cost less)!
2. Cook from Scratch
Making meals from scratch with your bulk foods is another great way to save money, and personalize the foods you love most. So, rather than buying prepackaged granola or even granola in bulk, why not just buy the oats, honey, and cinnamon to roast your own granola at home? With just a few recipes in your repertoire, you’ll save costs from buying things premade.
3. Make a Meal Plan
To take budgeting to the next level, make a meal plan before you head to the grocery store. When you know exactly what your meals will be over the week, you can purchase only the ingredients you need and nothing extra. This proactive planning reduces waste and makes you think about where to save money on each meal.
4. Buy Seasonal
For produce especially, pay attention to the seasonal variations in availability, and buy accordingly. Fruits and vegetables that are local and/or in season are usually more inexpensive than other produce that is shipped over many continents or stored for months in a freezer. If you’re looking to save on organic produce, look to the dirty dozen. Some produce is more likely to have high pesticide levels, everything else you are safe to buy conventionally. Stay away from foods that are packaged, prepared, boxed, or just not in their natural form.
5. Watch the Flyer
Health food stores have sales too! Make sure you check out the weekly flyer, and plan your meals around the items that are on sale. Try to buy expensive items only when they’re on sale. Then, you can adapt your weekly meal planning to what’s available for a good price. Also look out for coupons that can further reduce your grocery bill.
Yes, you can shop at health food stores without a monumental grocery bill! When you buy in bulk, cook from scratch, watch for sales, and focus on seasonal ingredients, you can take advantage of organic and natural products while on a budget.