Shop the Outside Aisles
The outside aisles are where all the fresh vegetables, fruits, and meats are located as well as most of your fresh dairy products. The key to nutrient-dense food is fresh items when available. The key to saving money is buying when products are in season. Begin with the fresh vegetables and fruits. Don’t buy out-of-season products because you’ll pay for the shipping of the product. Stick to what is in season in your area. Buy frozen for the out-of-season vegetables and fruits such as blueberries
and strawberries, which are nutrient-dense.
In the meat department, look for sales on meat and stock up. Spend the money on a vacuum sealer. It’s well worth the $50 to $75 because it keeps food for over a year. Don’t buy pre-cut meat. Instead of chicken parts, buy the whole chicken and cut it yourself. You’ll save money.
In the dairy section, look for low fat and fat free milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, and even low fat sour cream. These foods are healthier than the regular dairy. Look for store brands to save money.
Once you have shopped the outside aisles for the fresh food, it’s time to venture into the middle aisles.
As you shop for bread, crackers, and other prepackaged foods, learn to read labels. Just because a food says it is whole wheat, does not mean it’s 100 percent whole wheat. Look for wheat bread that is listed as whole wheat, not enriched wheat flour. Check the fiber on the bread as well. High fiber bread will have a minimum of two grams of dietary fiber. Shoot for three to four grams. There are now breads with as much as six grams of fiber for each slice of bread. Check the servings. Sometimes the serving for bread is two slices, so two grams of dietary fiber is only one gram for each slice. The same label reading is important for crackers, cereals, and pasta. Look for whole wheat, not enriched wheat. The whole-wheat products will cost more, but you do not need to eat as much to get the nutrient value from the food. High fiber food will satisfy you with less.
Try to avoid food with added sugar. Buy peanut butter that is only peanut butter and salt. Avoid products with hydrogenated vegetable oil. Many stores now offer their own brand of natural foods, so cost is not an issue.
With a little discrimination while reading labels, you can buy higher nutrient valued food and actually save money.
This post is part of the series: Nutrient-dense Food for a Healthy Life
- Diet Healthy With Nutrient-Dense Foods
- Eating Healthy at the Fast-Food Restaurant
- Saving Money Grocery Shopping for Nutrient-Dense Food