Let’s face it, we all wish we ate healthier from time to time, but the thought of spending extra cash for less calories makes it harder. The truth is that eating healthy doesn’t have to cost more.
Here’s how you can eat a healthy diet without breaking the bank:
Take Advantage of Cash Back. Many credit cards offer cash back when you use them to purchase groceries. Cash back is often offered in the form of monetary rewards that can be transferred into your bank account or redeemed as a statement credit.
Here are the percentages of cash back for groceries that a few cards offer:
- American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card: 6 percent
- Chase Freedom Card: 5 percent on different categories each quarter. Some quarters may include groceries, but you must activate your cash back reward at the beginning of each quarter.
- Target RedCard: 5 percent on everything in Target
- American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card: 3 percent
- Bank of America Cash Rewards Visa Signature Card: 2 percent
Buy Seasonal Produce. When fruits and vegetables are in season, they can be considerable cheaper, as well as higher in nutritional value. If you’re not sure what produce is in season, ask someone working in the produce section of your local grocery store.
Check the Freezer Aisle. When you can’t find produce in season, or if it is still too expensive, try frozen fruits and vegetables. It is a common misconception that frozen packages of produce are not as healthy, but they are just as nutritious, and are great in soups and stir-fry dishes.
Go Generic. Compare the generic or store brand healthy product with the brand name product. Usually the generic version is cheaper for the same quality product.
Purchase Whole Foods. When foods have been cut, peeled or sliced for you, you are paying extra for someone else to do these steps for you. While it may be less convenient, it is cheaper if you do the prep work yourself.
Portion It Out Yourself. Already portioned packages, such as 100 calories packs, may be a convenient way to eat the right portion size, but it will cost you more. Instead, buy larger packages and do your own portioning by looking at the label and setting aside a correct serving size. Then put the package away. You tend to overindulge when eating out of the package.
It is possible to eat healthier without burning your wallet. Education is the key. If you know what to look for while you’re in the grocery store, chances are you’ll find that eating healthier can work within your budget.
Kaitlyn Fusco is a content writer for Debt.org. She combines her interests in writing and overcoming debt to inform the public about issues related to credit, debt and personal finance. Join the conversation on Debt.org’s Twitter page.