Eating healthy is hard.

So hard.

Chocolate chip cookies and tacos and wine taste better than, um, everything. Chocolate chip cookies, tacos, and wine taste better than everything. Especially everything healthy.

And then there’s the cost.

Everything in the fruits and veggies section is so expensive!

But it doesn’t have to be, not really.

If you’re eager to overhaul your health and want to really provide your family with healthier food options, it totally can be done on a budget.

Here are some tips to help you get started.

10 Tips That Prove You Can Eat Healthy and Save Money at the Grocery Store

DIY Your Dinners

Yup, you have to cook at home if you want to save money. And convenience foods are a no-go too. They just suck your money right up out of your wallet. If you want French fries, you have to get potatoes and cut them up. If you want cookies, bust out that butter and sugar and whip up a batch. You don’t have to make every single thing from scratch (no one said you have to bake your own breads), but the things that are simple enough are really going to save you in the long run if you skip the frozen aisle, buy fresh, and put in a little kitchen work. Plus, you can make healthier, preservative free options that skip all of the unhealthy additives.

Beware the Coupons

Watch for deals and sales, and don’t over commit to coupons. When you get those coupons that are all, “hey girl, you can save $4 if you buy 13 boxes of crackers!” it’s important that you think all the way through that. Do you need 13 boxes of crackers? Were those 13 boxes of crackers already on your shopping list because you knew you were going to make, um, something requiring 13 boxes of crackers?! If not, you’re getting hosed.

Meal Plan

And then make your shopping list to match and ONLY buy what you are actually about to eat. Make sure your plan involves breakfast, lunch, and snacks so you’re not tempted to deviate from the list at all.

Pay with Cash

If you take only the amount you intend to spend to the store and leave the ATM card at home, you will be forced to stick to your budget.

Shop in Season

When it comes to fresh fruits and veggies, it is cheaper to buy them when they are in growing season.

Be Brand Savvy

Listen, the generic canned corn doesn’t taste any different than the Del Monte, they are just half the price. If you find a brand that is truly better (tastier, healthier, etc) buy it, and then stick to what is on sale the rest of the time.

Skip the Baby Food

There’s no reason you really need to buy canned baby food for your baby -just puree what you’re eating and give it to them.

Shop Less

Learn how long your family’s food lasts and then plan your shopping trips accordingly. Then, skip midweek shops. If you run out of something, too bad, you’ll have to figure out how to make it without it.

Shop Solo

When you take your kids or your spouse you are more likely to buy unplanned items -the soda he asks for, the fruit snacks your kids are begging for but don’t need. If they aren’t there, their input can easily be ignored.

Start a Garden

Even if you don’t have a ton of space, try container gardening, or growing your own herbs to save on some fresh things.

Buy in Bulk

On things that make sense. Canned goods are usually good to purchase in bulk, and anything else that won’t go bad before you have a chance to eat it. You can purchase larger sizes and cut them down and freeze them yourself. Often, you are paying for the convenience of having things packaged individually or for serving at the store. You can save if you’re willing to do some of the work yourself!

Need more help? Pop into the mom.life app and check out our couponing group!

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