Frugal Lifestyle Guide 1

Eat healthy on a budget

Most parents would like to feed their family something healthier than cheese puffs, potato chips and noodles that taste like they’ve been rolled in a salt mine. But, when you’re watching every cent, what else can you do?

With a little time and preparation, you can still eat healthy on a budget:

Go digital: There are plenty of sites and apps that will help you find the cheapest prices, such as Flipp. You can also learn which foods are unhealthy, even when they seem to be okay, with Fooducate. It’s free and helps identify sneaky ingredients and pitfalls in seemingly “healthy” options.

Use coupons: We’ve all heard the stories about super savvy shoppers who actually get refunds at the checkout line. Even if you don’t have the time or inclination for the couponing scene, you can still save a few bucks by finding and using just a handful of coupons on items you know you’ll want. Some apps, such as Checkout 51 and IBotta, will even let you scan your receipt and upload it for instant rebates. And, if you can, combine coupon savings with the sales. It adds up quickly.

Be loyal: Sign up for member reward programs everywhere you shop. You can download digital coupons and other benefits, such as fuel savings, directly to your card.

  • Forget loyalty: Then again, remember that no one store or brand will always boast the lowest price. Be willing to follow the sales to the lowest prices.
  • Shop local: Many towns have farmer’s markets nearby. You may also be able to find local eggs, dairy, bread, honey and more. Many of these places sell their goods to locals at a discount.
  • Eat cheap alternatives: If you don’t have the budget to eat salmon and drink red wine every night, fear not. You can eat heart-healthy options at a fraction of the cost. Consider protein-rich sources like canned beans, peanut butter and eggs instead. Try drinking low-sugar, all-natural fruit juices or water with freshly squeezed lemons.
  • Cook too much: Make extra of certain dishes, such as casseroles and soups, and store them for later. When you’re in a rush or have had a bad day, you’ll be less tempted to turn to packaged foods or unnecessary restaurant spending.

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