Tag Archives: saving money

Ways to Save Money on Healthy Food

11 Jun

Healthy eating isn’t cheap. Grocery stores always have fat-tastic snack foods, high-calorie frozen dinners, sugary drinks and fatty meats like sausage on sale, but aren’t as generous on the deals with healthy food. Everyone who knows me is aware that I am a giant cheapo. I love saving money on absolutely everything that requires me to whip out my American Express card, so obviously it annoys me to no end that I, (El Cheapo, as my boyfriend affectionately refers to me) have to spend a lot on my healthy eating habits. So, if you’re looking for ways to save money on healthy food, you’re going to have to get crafty. And that’s just what I did!

My mom gave me this coupon pendaflex. And yes, I carry it in public on a weekly basis, because it is awesome.

Ways to Save Money on Healthy Eating

  • Hunt for Coupons: Grocery manufacturers seem to want the world to be filled with giant fatties, as most coupons are for foods that will make your waistline expand, but if you look hard enough you can find a few diamonds in the rough. I use coupon clipping services The Coupon Clippers and Coupon Dede to fulfill my couponing needs. For a very small fee, these sites will clip and send you massive amounts of coupons in bulk. All you have to do is choose your coupons and they will appear in your mailbox clipped and ready to go in a matter of days! This is great for saving money on items such as greek yogurt, frozen fish, cottage cheese, organic eggs,protein and granola bars and sometimes even produce.
  • Discount Stores: No one likes going to Wal-Mart, but if you’re looking for ways to save money, you’ll suck it up and buy items there that are cheaper than at your grocery store. I make bi-weekly trips to Wal-Mart, because they sell a few of my favorite products such as Skinny Cow Ice Cream, Emerald Almonds, Gorton’s Salmon and Butterball Reduced Sodium Turkey Bacon for a whole lot cheaper than I can find it at Giant Eagle, my local grocery store. I learned the hard way that you won’t be saving money by doing a full shopping trip for healthy food at Wal-Mart, as it isn’t any cheaper than my grocery store for some items (and they don’t double coupons). So you just have to scout it out and comparison shop.
  • Farmer’s Markets: As you probably already know, it’s crazy hard finding ways to save money on produce. And of course, half my weekly grocery bill is composed of produce. My boyfriend and I recently discovered the art of saving money on produce by shopping at local farmer’s markets. You can seriously cut your grocery bill in half, without having to sacrifice your love of healthy food, by checking out these fun little local events. Not only are you saving money, you’re also supporting a local business. Total win-win situation!

Saving Money By Shopping at a Farmers’ Market

4 Jun

Shopping at a farmers’ market is a great way to support a local business.

It always annoys me how expensive fresh produce is in the grocery store. It’s crazy how the most fattening garbage is super cheap, but buying produce will bankrupt you. Trying to stick to a grocery budget can be like an invitation to be fat. Unacceptable!

Although shopping at a farmer’s market is by no means a new concept, it finally really clicked for my boyfriend and I last weekend, when we realized how much money we saved when we visited one. Not only did we save a ton of money by shopping at a farmers’ market, we also supported a local business in the process.

While Pittsburgh isn’t the most exciting, beautiful, or glamorous place to live, we do have a few winning points. One of those happens to be shopping at the farmers’ market in our Strip District area of downtown on the weekends. While I’ve always really enjoyed this little warm weather pastime, I never really realized how much money I could save if I did it on a weekly basis. It’s so fun to get to enjoy browsing cheap produce outside on a beautiful day (yes, I’m completely serious).

So much fresh produce for so little money!

So much fresh produce for so little money!

Check out everything I got at the farmer’s market for $19.51!:

  • Two red peppers
  • Four zucchinis
  • One avocado
  • One pint of blueberries
  • One container of strawberries
  • Two grapefruits
  • One lemon
  • Two kiwis
  • Four pounds of oranges
  • One bunch of fresh parsley

Moral of the Story: Head to your local farmers’ market this week. Buy lots of cheap, fresh produce. Pat yourself on the back for saving money and supporting a local business.

Your Local Walmart Store is Scary, but Offers Ways to Save Money on Healthy Food

13 Mar

Some name brand frozen foods are cheaper at your local Walmart store, it'll only cost you your dignity.

I avoid my local Walmart store like the plague. It’s gross. Well maybe that needs restated, the clientele shopping at my local Walmart store is gross. Last time I went in the store, about six months ago, I got asked out on a date in the produce section. There I was inspecting some tomatoes and some flaming weirdo walks up to me and just blurts out the enticing offer of going on a date with him. I mean c’mon dude, we’re not Amber or Gary from Teen Mom.

Anyways, last week I accidentally dropped a large bowl on the coffee pot, so I needed a new one ASAP. And apparently Walmart is the only store in town to get such a thing. So, as I’m constantly looking for ways to save money, I decided to buy some Walmart groceries, since I was forced to go there anyways.

Let’s face it healthy food isn’t cheap. If you’re trying to live on a diet of healthy eating (and of course you better be), there’s not always that many ways to save money. Apparently grocery stores understand the value of not being a fatty, and as a result that healthy food isn’t always cheap. This is where your local Walmart store can come in handy.

I usually go hog-wild on the couple of times a year I decide to brave my local Walmart store. I mean Walmart groceries are cheap, and when you’re looking for ways to save money, that’s super exciting. Unfortunately, that’s also a bit of a problem. I always end up leaving the store with way more Walmart groceries than I bargained for, which of course results in not saving any money at all. Just having a whole ton of extra food. Oink oink.

So this past week when I visited my local Walmart store, I decided to force myself to stick to my grocery list. No deviations just because I can’t handle myself around all of the cheap food. Here’s what I found:

  • Name brand healthy food such as Greek yogurt, low-fat string cheese, and low-fat peanut butter are not cheaper at Walmart.
  • Generic Walmart groceries are super cheap. It’s okay to buy some of them, such as tuna.
  • Walmart produce is wayyy cheap. Some of it’s good, some of it isn’t. Use your discretion. There’s also not much organic, if that’s your thing.
  • Random name brand healthy food items such as Skinny Cow ice cream and frozen veggie are actually a lot cheaper at Walmart.
  • Walmart doesn’t double coupons, but my local grocery store does, up to $1.00. Therefore it might be dumb to use coupons under $1.00 at Walmart, but brilliant to use those $1.00+ ones there.

Overall, I did save money buying my Walmart groceries. I think I probably saved about $15-20 from shopping there, instead of at my local grocery store. So, since I love finding ways to save money, it looks like I’ll be making trips to my local Walmart store more frequently than once every six months from now on.

Tips to Save Money & Eat Well on Road Trips

17 Jul

The highway isn't always filled with healthy eating options.

It’s always great to hop in the car and get out of town for a few days. Although you’re on vacation, there’s no need to spend extra money and calories on food that isn’t even worth your time. Follow these tips to save money and eat well while traveling the highway.

1.) Bring your own food, or at least enough for your first meal. When my boyfriend and I are headed out for a road trip on the Pennsylvania turnpike, we always bring lunch or dinner with us. I’m not talking about anything elaborate – a sandwich from Subway, or an MTO from Wawa – but it sure beats the offerings on the PA Turnpike. There’s nothing worse than being tired and starving, when the only available food options involve sweaty pizza from a revolving glass case or Roy Rogers. No thanks. Bringing enough food to last us until we’re off the turnpike allows us to eat well, so we can save our calories for something that’s actually good.

2.) Snacks. You’re bound to get hungry while sitting in the car for hours. Unfortunately, the rest areas and gas stations along the highway aren’t usually stalked with the most nutritional snacks on the planet. Not only are most of these snacks fat bombs, they also won’t fill you up, and are overpriced, because of the lack of competition out on the open highway. Outsmart the service centers of the world, by purchasing your own snacks ahead of time, and bringing them along with you. You’ll save a lot of fat – both from your waistline and your wallet. Healthy snack suggestions: apples, baby carrots, baked chips, low-calorie granola bars, pop chips, and pretzels.

3.) Water. Bringing your own water will have you saving money like crazy, and will help you to stay healthy while on the road. No matter where we go – when traveling by car we purchase beforehand, and when traveling by plane we purchase as soon as we’re set free with the rental car – we bring our own case of water. Buying a case of 12 bottles of water from a grocery store will cost you about $3. Buying one bottle of water from a store will cost you about $2 per bottle. You do the math.

4.) Eating Regular Meals. When traveling out on the open road all day, you might not find it convenient to stop and eat lunch or dinner, if you opt to not bring them with you. As a result, you will be snacking mindlessly all day, and racking up the calories like mad crazy. This is bad. You need to eat well, even on the road. Take the time to stop for lunch and dinner. This will keep you from bingeing on high-calorie fattening foods later on, and eating inhumane amounts of snack food in the car.

5.) Eating Healthy at Fast Food Restaurants. No matter how hard to try to avoid them, you just might find yourself with no other options than fast food while on a road trip. Take a deep breath, relax, it’ll be okay. If you think creatively enough, you can find healthy anywhere. For example, at McDonald’s you could get a hamburger and a side salad, at Wendy’s a plain baked potato and a side salad, or at taco bell straight up crunchy tacos won’t harm you too much (maybe in other ways). Look up nutritional information for these restaurants online, or on your phone if possible. So there you having it, it’s possible to eat well anywhere, regardless of the circumstances.