With the cost of food increasing, everyone is looking to stretch their dollars more. Unfortunately, most people believe that eating healthy is too expensive, which isn’t necessarily true.
Grocery shopping at mainstream stores such as Whole Foods and Central Market is great for healthier options, but these stores can be very expensive. Higher pricing at these stores often reflect the daily cost of delivery, gas and shipping. But don’t fret, I have found 10 places around the country, which offer tons of healthy produce and meats for those on a tight budget . No coupons needed!
Aldi – Aldi is the king on cheap produce. If you can ignore most of the packaged goodies in the middle of the store, you can easily purchase healthy food options without breaking the bank. Produce is crazy cheap because it’s priced to move.They also have a good selection of wine but the jackpot is Aldi’s dairy section. $1.00 for a gallon of milk and $2 for 2 dozen eggs; you can’t beat Aldi’s prices.
Kroger’s – I like Krogers because they have lots of convenient locations and great affordable, healthy options. l Personally, I love Kroger’s clearance sections and specials. Here are a few ways I save in Kroger’s:
- Bagged Salads and Cold Items– If you are looking to have a salad, head to the discounted bagged salad section. This section is typically located close to the salad section in a hidden corner. Most bag salads expire quickly so these bags are priced to move at a $1 a bag. If you can’t find this section, ask a produce employee for their discounted salad section. You can also find a variety of discounted cold items such as tofu, yogurt and dressings as well. They are normally grouped together.
- Produce – In the produce area look for a few random shelves of bagged fruits and veggies. They are often hidden so ask for the discounted produce bags if you can’t find them. The bags are typically $1 and often contain 3-4 pounds of ripe fruits and vegetables. Many items are bruised or close to spoiling so buy with caution.
- Breads and Pastries – If you are looking for bakery items, Kroger’s has discounted breads and pastries late in the evenings. From a full cake to loaves of french bread, you can stock up on these items on the cheap!
- Manager Special – Look for the orange stickers on items around the store. These items are 25-90% off retail price. Here is an example of how I shopped at Kroger’s on budget.
- Gas – Spending $100 at Kroger’s gives me an instant $10 off Shell gas.
Zaycon – I can not explain the love I have for Zycon. It is serious cost savings for families. Whitney and I bought a 40lb box of chicken for our families. This cost us $30-$40 each (we split a $70 box.) This means the chicken is $1.64/lb, which is roughly around 54 chicken breasts!! Serious cost savings!! You have to sign up for the deals. They also have a variety of meats such as wild salmon and bacon. They often sell out especially of the chicken deal, so act fast.
Gaballi aka Angel Food 2.0 – I used to live off Angel Food boxes in college. They offered a complete weeks worth of meals in a box for less than $40. Sometimes I got them for free. Unfortunately, Angel Food changed and most services are no longer offered. Gaballi seems to be a replacement for Angel Food boxes. Still, Gaballi’s offers a variety of produce and meat boxes for a 30-70% savings from the current national retail prices. These items are all produced in the USA. You can signup for Gaballi here.
Trader Joe’s – If you are lucky to have one in your area, run to the nearest location to enjoy lots of savings. I love this store. From their reasonable prices to plethora of organic options, it’s a great place for those wanting to choose healthier and/or organic foods but without the Whole Foods prices.
Farmers Market – I love Farmers Markets but did you know you can save a few extra pennies by changing when you shop at the market? Here is how!
Traditionally, farmers markets restock with fresh produce on Thursday evening or early Friday to display their best picks to the massive rush of people on the weekend. This new stock means deep discounts on Tuesday and Wednesdays. Make friends with farmers to gain access to these discounts.
Ethnic (Asian and Hispanic) Grocery Stores – Awhile ago, Whitney and I journeyed to one of our local Asian stores. We found tons of discounts and low prices especially in their produce section. These stores often sell produce at a fraction of what traditional retail stores usually charge. They are great for families since the offer a lot of items in bulk. You can read all about our journey at our local Asian grocery store here.
CSA – CSA stands for community supported agriculture. Local farmers offer their seasonal produce every week for consumers to buy for a monthly or yearly fee. For roughly $35 a week, you can get a variety of fresh organic, local and seasonal produce year around. There isn’t anything cheaper and better than a CSA. You can find out more about a CSA and why I joined by clicking here.
Bulk Sections and Natural Grocers – At Natural Grocers, there is a bulk section for a variety of popular items. Shopping in the bulk section can cut your grocery bill in half. You can find items such as quinoa, whey protein, nuts, teas and even dead sea salt around the store packaged for direct coupon-free savings.
If you don’t have a natural grocers in your area, try the bulk sections at Central Market, Sprouts and other similar stores or buy in bulk at membership stores such as Sam’s Club and Costco. I love Costco! I buy items such as toilet paper and organic salads for 70% less than traditional stores.
Well, there you have it. If you have any suggestions or additions to the list, feel free to comment below.
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