Money Saving Tips: Grocery Shopping While On A Diet

Trying to save money while stocking your kitchen with healthy food for your diet? Use these tips for healthy eating and a healthy wallet.

Being on a diet does not prevent you from budgeting at the grocery store. Follow these money-saving tips for shopping, while maintaining your healthy weight-loss diet.

Make a list before you shop:

Planning is the single most important factor to both saving money and dieting. The time you take to plan your meals before heading the store will pay for itself in results at the end of the week. First, make a list of healthy meals that fit your diet and are highly appealing. Break each meal into the ingredients required to prepare it and use these items to create your grocery list. By following planned menus, you save the money often spent on impulsive purchases and the money wasted by purchasing ingredients you never get around to cooking.

Once your basic list is created, add several healthy snack items. Things like fruit, fresh raw vegetables and yogurt are reasonably priced and always readily available.

Once you are in the store, stick to your list. Impulse purchases can increase the total of your bill and your calorie count simultaneously.

Shop in-season items and sales:

For fresh produce items, shop for in-season items. Not only is the produce fresher, it is generally more economical; prices are lower on abundant items. Check the weekly sale flyer for your grocery store and plan some of your meals around sale items. Stock up on non-perishable items and frozen groceries, such as lean meats and frozen vegetables, when they are on sale.

Patronize farmers' markets:

Many cities have local farmers' markets; these markets offer local produce items for sale. Often the produce at these markets is not only fresher than supermarket offerings, it is also less expensive. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the core of virtually every healthy weight-loss diet, so this is an ideal way to improve your diet while saving money.

Avoid "snack food" aisles:

Most grocery stores devote entire aisles to cookies, crackers, chips and soda. All of these highly processed foods are expensive relative to the nutritional value they impart and tend to be high in the ingredients dieters should avoid. Traditionally processed snacks are high in fat, sugar and salt and low in fiber, protein and vitamins. These tempting treats should simply be avoided; if they don't make it into your shopping cart, they won't be sitting in the cupboard at home.

Buy small portions of treats:

While buying in bulk is frequently less expensive, buy treats sparingly and in small portions. Buying merely a single portion of a dessert not only keeps you from overindulging, it is a money saver. Do not spend money on food you will not or should not eat.

Make reading food labels a habit:

Food labels help you ensure you get the most nutrition for your dollars. Look for items that are high in fiber and nutrients and low in fat and sugar.

Use the right coupons

Coupons can be a tremendous money-saver, especially when stores double the savings. However, coupons are often for high-calorie, processed foods. While these packaged meals may be financially a good deal, nutritionally they can be suspect. So, combine your coupon usage with your label reading to make sure you are really getting value for your money.

Today even many organic, whole foods and fresh food companies offer coupons to promote their brands. Visit the websites of your favorite food manufacturers and distributors to see if they have online coupons or special offer mailing lists to maximize your savings.

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