We need to eat well to live well. The foods that we eat on a daily basis impact our overall health and way of life. Eating well means making healthy food choices that include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.

Although these foods might be high on your grocery list, they are probably not the cheapest items at your local grocery store. However, with a little planning and smart shopping habits, you can eat well and save money on groceries.

Keep a running list

Don’t just make a grocery list before heading to the store. Keep an ongoing list of healthy foods that have just been consumed by you or your family.

It’s impossible to remember every food item that has been eaten since your last grocery store trip, so write it down as soon as it’s gone. This will ensure that you buy the same healthy foods you’ve just enjoyed and not waste money on a repeat purchase of the food that’s lingering in the back of your fridge.

Control the impulses

We all make impulse purchases from time to time. It can happen in the aisles, in the checkout line, or while shopping online. Try eating a healthy snack before you shop; never go to the grocery store hungry.

Buy only healthy foods at the grocery store, and save the sweet treats for special occasions. Spending less on unhealthy groceries means more money in your pocket.

Plan your meals and ingredients

Meal prep is a popular life hack these days. It certainly makes healthy eating at home much easier on busy weeknights.

To save money on groceries, try to plan meals with crossover ingredients — ingredients that are listed in several of your recipes for the week. This will maximize your purchased groceries and minimize wasted food.

Certain crossover ingredients — fruits, cheese, and veggies — can also double as healthy snack options. Plan to buy only what you need because leftovers tend to be forgotten and tossed out.

Shop the deals

We all look for the BOGO or the two-for-one specials, but a little extra effort could save you a lot more. Clip the coupons and shop the store ads online or in the paper — yes, the newspaper.

Look for deals and digital coupons in the grocery store app, including special offers when you sign up for daily or weekly emails. If you don’t have a brand preference, generic items can be inexpensive alternatives for your healthy recipes.

Make your groceries last

Who wants to run right back to the grocery store after a major shopping trip? Purchase frozen produce to supplement your fresh fruits and veggies. Frozen items can be just as healthy and are often less expensive.

After finishing a healthy meal, freeze your leftovers for another night or eat them the next day for lunch. This healthy habit will minimize your trips to the grocery store and eating out for convenience’s sake, thus saving you money each week.

The bottom line

Eating well doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on groceries. Local grocery stores post a number of ways to save money each week, and it’s our job as smart shoppers to take advantage of these deals. The money you save will be worth the effort.

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