Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How to: Eat Healthy at an Affordable Price

Recently I went on my big grocery shopping trip to fill the kitchen with good food and to take advantage of sales. I always love loading up my cart with good deals, but I will tell ya, nothing will get you out of a grocery store faster than a 16 year old boy behind the meat counter hitting on ya. I'm sure my face turned as red as the raw meat and I ducked out of there so fast that I missed out on the $1.99/pound chicken breast sale. I would trade a compliment for a good deal any day. ;)

The chicken wasn't the only good sale that I missed out on that day though. My favorite BBQ Lays Kettle chips were also on sale for $2.50/bag and despite trying to eat healthy, I definitely love a good chip. I grabbed the bag and threw it in my cart, then it dawned on me. Why the hell am I buying a small bag of chips for $2.50 when about 60% of the bag is just filled with air? Back on the shelf it went. Sorry Lays, that "good deal" just wasn't good enough! 

Not only was a small bag spendy, but nutrition was almost non-existent! (Fooducate)

While $2.50 doesn't sound like a lot, it actually is a lot when you compare it to how much more food you can get for the same price. Not only more food, but healthier food! Healthy food for a low price, whaaat? If you shop smart, you can eat like a Whole Foods junkie, but for a fraction of the cost. Processed foods are not only bad on the wallet, they're bad on your body! 

The other day, I unconsciously performed an experiment when I had to pick up a few items at the store. I always shop for fresh produce at a discount grocer (Aldi), while I go to a mid-range store (Hyvee or Fareway) for most processed goods and meats. Unintentionally, after purchasing everything off of my lists, both bills rang up within $1 of each other. Guess which store I got a better value at? 

That's right, I was able to get a lot of fruits and vegetables (stigma of being "too expensive" to eat healthy) at Aldi. Compared to being able to purchase only a few processed items (stigma for being cheaper) at Hyvee for almost the same exact cost. Not only can you eat healthier, but you get to spend less as well! While all cities may not have an Aldi, look around because you are bound to find something more affordable. Even CBS said that discount grocery chains are "growing fast," also mentioning Aldi, Grocery Outlet and Save-a-Lot were the three largest chains (2011). Click to find the store nearest you: Aldi, Grocery Outlet, and Save-a-Lot. Not only are there discount stores, but there are also salvage grocery stores to get goods at the cheapest cost. Look here for your closest salvage goods store.

Getting a bag of oranges for $1.99 & health benefits topping the charts! (Fooducate)

Choosing to eat healthy or eat affordable does not have to be a choice, it just takes a little searching and effort to have both, but no one said having the best of both worlds was easy!

Please comment if you know of any other great discount stores or if you have any ideas of how to eat healthy affordably! 

Shop smarter, eat better, live happier!

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