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Money Saving Nutrition Tips Part 3

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PART 3 OF 3
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Don’t Shop When You Are Hungry

This may seem like common sense but it is very important to remember. Grocery stores are systematically designed to make you buy more food than you originally planned on. They pump additional oxygen into the store and keep the lights bright to keep you alert and energetic in your shopping journey. They want you to come in for milk and eggs and leave with a shopping cart full of expensive items! If you shop when you are hungry you are almost guaranteed to purchase more food and more unhealthy foods. You might even end up buying twice as much food as you need when your rationale thought is skewed by a voracious appetite. I know I’ve purchased all kinds of strange and unhealthy foods in the past when I was shopping hungry. I was even aware that I was just being manipulated by the store setup and food product marketing. After I ate something I wondered why I purchased so many stupid items. Hunger is a powerful force and it will cause you to think and act irrationally.

Only Buy What You Can Carry

This is another well-known tip to make sure your grocery shopping experience doesn’t get out of hand (no pun intended). When you have a big shopping cart, your natural tendency is going to be to fill it up at least somewhat. If you instead go shopping with the resolve to only purchase what you can carry with your hands or a basket, you will only purchase the bare essentials. Not only will it limit the food that you can buy, but it will give you a little more of a workout during your shopping spree! Also, by purchasing smaller amounts of food each time you will ensure that your food and meals are always fresh. It may also improve your meal planning and you will have to throw out less expired food that you forgot about. This suggestion applies more to meat, produce, and frozen items. I would not recommend this tactic if you are trying to save time and money by buying healthy food in bulk.


Spice It Up

Using herbs and spices to improve the palatability and variety of your healthy meals is very important. Eating chicken breasts, tuna, salad, pasta, veggies, etc all the time can get really old really fast and you need to change things up at least a little bit. Spices may be slightly expensive when you first purchase them but they will most likely last you a long time. They are a very affordable and convenient way to change a meal significantly with little effort. Not only are spices cheap and versatile, but they add only a negligible amount of calories and many of them have health benefits. Spices such as garlic, onion, and cinnamon all have very well documented health benefits. You can even grow your own herbs pretty cheaply and easily for more potency. Salt and pepper always work, but make sure to minimize the salt if you have high blood pressure or heart disease. Spices will help to enhance the flavor of food in the place of salt for those on a low sodium diet.

Take Advantage of Restaurant Specials

If there are specials for your favorite restaurants, take advantage of them. Lunch specials are a good way to get your favorite foods for a lower price than the dinner equivalent. You may risk being called an old geezer but you can often take advantage of the infamous Early Bird Specials for dinner at 4 or 5pm. Some days of the week offer half-priced appetizers or special meal deals which also make going out more affordable. Just make sure that the foods you are saving money on aren’t also hurting your waistline. A good way to be kept in the loop on your favorite restaurant’s specials and promotions is to sign up for their newsletter or email newsletter. There are countless other ways to get the best deals such as apps, subscriptions, social media, SMS, and more!


Eat Out Less

This one is pretty much common sense but a lot of people don’t use it. While you can find good bargains at restaurants like I mentioned before, odds are the more you go out to eat the more your eating expenses increase. You will definitely save significantly by eating out once or twice a week at the most and cooking the rest of your meals yourself. Also, while you can find healthy options at restaurants, chances are you will also eat less healthy the more you eat out. When you cook something yourself, you decide all the ingredients that go into it. When you go out to eat, you may not see all of the butter, sauces, sugars, and other ingredients that are added to your food to enhance the flavor. Eating out less will also make you appreciate the few times that you do go out to eat. And when in doubt, make some healthy oatmeal!

Order Online



This tip applies mostly for purchasing nutritional supplements. Most foods aren’t worth purchasing online, especially when shipping costs are factored in. In terms of nutritional supplements, there are a wide variety of vendors online that offer better prices than your local supp shop. There are thousands of online supplement stores out there and it is becoming an increasingly competitive industry. There are also more supplements and supplement companies coming out every year. This helps you, the consumer, because these companies must constantly have sales, specials, and price cuts to sell their inventory. Just make sure you are still getting a good bargain after you factor in the shipping costs. There are also some people that find great deals on buying healthy food in bulk online so that may be worth looking into further. Rare foods, or traditionally high-priced food items like almond butter, may be much cheaper buying straight from the manufacturer and/or in bulk than at your local store.

I hope you enjoyed this 3 part series on saving while eating healthier. More great Frugal Fitness articles coming every month!

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