A common complaint from people trying to start eating healthy is that healthy foods can be more expensive than unhealthy fast foods.
You can enjoy cheap healthy foods that are good for you and good for your wallet. Learn surprisingly easy ways to get cheap groceries and save money on food. You can take advantage of hidden money-saving opportunities that most people overlook.
Here are 14 easy ways to get cheap healthy foods and save a lot of money:
1. Stick to the edges of the grocery store and you can avoid the higher-priced processed foods. Usually, less processed healthy foods are at the edges of the grocery store, including fruits and vegetables, meats, dairy, etc.
2. You can save up to 90% off your total grocery bill if you combine sale items, rebates and coupons. Ask customer service when they have double or triple coupon days — and you can get extra savings by shopping on those days. Don’t forget to take advantage of ‘buy one and take one for free’ offers.
3. You can save a lot of money by taking advantage of amazingly cheap ‘loss leaders’ at your local supermarkets. Loss leaders are items offered for sale at dramatically reduced prices; they’re intended to draw more customers into a store where they are likely to buy other goods. However, no one will stop you if you just buy loss leaders — you can get even expensive items for as little as one penny or a few cents.
4. Buying store brands or generic brands can save you up to 50% off name-brand products.
5. Always use coupons when grocery shopping. Click here to get free grocery coupons and printable coupons for your favorite brands.
6. Shop the lower shelves at the supermarket. Why? Store clerks often neglect to re-price items when they’re on the bottom shelves; so, you can end up with cheaper prices. The highest mark-up items are the ones at about eye level or chest level. These expensive items are positioned there to make it really easy for you to see them and grab them, instead of the hard-to-reach cheaper items.
7. Buying in bulk can bring you huge savings. You can buy cereal, pasta, grains, beans, flour, nuts, pet food and other food in bulk. Some supermarkets have a separate section for bulk items. Alternatively, you can get bulk items from Costco or Smart and Final in your area. Unlike Costco, Smart and Final warehouse grocery stores do not require a membership.
8. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables instead of processed food. You can save even more by buying locally-grown fruits and vegetables in season. Want to find the freshest and the cheapest fruits and vegetables? Visit your local farmers’ market; they offer produce which tends to be fresher, treated with less chemicals and cheaper.
To get the absolutely cheapest prices, visit the farmers’ market about one hour before closing time. Why? Most farmers are more motivated to get rid of their inventory and sell their products at much lower prices before closing time. Otherwise, they’ll end up packing up their products again to take home.
Buying locally-grown fruits and vegetables is usually a lot cheaper than buying produce transported from another state or country. If you really want to maximize your savings, you can buy extra fruits and vegetables in season — you can freeze them to use for another time.
9. You can save a lot of money on spices, fresh seafood, fruits and vegetables by getting them at Asian, Mexican and other ethnic markets in your area.
10. If you’re a student or a senior citizen, check your favorite grocery stores in your area to find out if they offer discounts and other special promotions just for students and seniors. Just showing your student ID or senior citizen’s ID can save you a lot of money.
11. You can find bargain canned items at dollar stores, drugstores and other discount stores.
12. Shop at bakery thrift stores or bakery outlets. Get cookies, cakes, cupcakes and brownies at half-price or less. Check your yellow pages or google ‘bakery thrift stores’ or ‘bakery outlets’ in your area.
13. Join a food co-op and get really cheap groceries. In exchange for a few hours of work at the co-op, you can get bread, meat, fruits, vegetables and other grocery items — at wholesale prices.
14. Take advantage of sales and deeply discounted frozen foods and canned items. You can stock up on sale items and get huge savings on highly-nutritious foods.
Elite bargain hunting tip: How to get grocery freebies and huge savings
Layer your discounts by buying items on sale then double the value of your coupons by using them on double coupon days. You should also claim any rebates, if they’re available. Try to get additional discounts by showing your student ID or senior citizen’s ID. You can usually decrease the price of some items down to a few cents. Actually, you’ll end up getting some items — for free.
To get more free items, don’t forget to take advantage of ‘buy one and take one for free’ offers.
At times, the store will end up ‘paying you’ to buy these items. So, the store clerks might get the manager to make sure it’s okay for you to layer your discounts. Just relax because almost all managers will approve your multiple discounts and freebies.
You don’t have to feel guilty because the store and the product manufacturers still end up making a profit from your other purchases or from other customers. Coupons and rebates are paid for by the manufacturers. They get tax deductions for business-related expenses for the coupons and rebates they offer as well as other marketing expenses.