When you have diabetes, eating healthy needs to be
a priority. I’ve had many people tell me eating healthy is expensive. It
doesn’t have to be though. With some thought and planning you can eat healthy
for less. Try these tips to help stay within your budget.
Plan meals for the week
I know this sounds basic, but it is the first
step to save money on groceries. Feel overwhelmed by planning meals? You only
need to really plan for about three meals-the rest you can use as leftovers or create
a new meal from part of another meal. For example, if you have grilled chicken
and vegetables one night, use leftovers to create a chicken vegetable soup.
Plan to freeze some meals to make a quick dinner at a later time. If you plan
out your meals for the week, you will make fewer trips to the grocery store
because you will have all that you need.
Make it from scratch
Simply put, convenience foods cost more. Plan a
time after grocery shopping to prep your foods such as cutting up vegetables and grating cheese. Go back to recipes and make real foods. This also means eating out and
getting take-out less frequently.
Buy in season
Fruits and vegetables that are in season are
always cheaper. You can often tell what is in season by comparing prices in the
produce section. A local farmer’s market will always have foods that are in
Generics are okay
Store brands or generic brands are often
comparable to the name brand product in nutrient content. Check out the price
difference and the nutrition facts panel to see if it’s worth the generic or
Purchase in bulk when on sale
You can stock your pantry with non-perishable
items that are on sale. This also works for some perishable items if you prep
or cook them and then try freezing.
Buy less meat
Meat is often the most expensive item on the
grocery list. In general, we eat enough protein and it would be good for us to
plan on some meatless meals. Don’t plan your meal around the meat, plan around
vegetables and then you will be sure to include veggies at every meal. Try to
include more beans in your diet by adding them to soups, salads, pasta and
rice dishes instead of meat.