Michael Kranak – @KranDaddy
One of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to grocery shopping is the fact that healthy, nutritious foods cost so much more than unhealthy alternatives. I truly believe that’s one of the biggest contributors to the nation’s obesity epidemic, but that’s a rant for another day.
To go along with the higher cost of healthy foods, I also know the struggle of being a college (and currently graduate) student trying to eat good, healthy foods and not break my budget. Which is why I want to share my three major keys to saving money and stretching your budget as long as you can!
Key Number 1 – Two words: MANAGER’S. SPECIAL.
The manager’s special! You’ve seen it before, the red or orange sticker on that pack of chicken breast, ground turkey, or ribeye steak – the price is cut in half or MORE because its expiration date is soon. Some people actually pass over the meats on manager’s special thinking, “I’m not gonna eat this now,” or, “I can’t cook this today.” That is the wrong mindset to have when trying to save money but also eat healthy. When you see the manager’s special, that is an opportunity to either stock up and freeze meats, or if you’re able to, have a major meal prep! Foods will keep for up to 6 – 12 months in the freezer depending on how well they’re packaged, freezer burn, etc. and thawing those meats when you’re ready to make them is super easy. So, take FULL ADVANTAGE of the manager’s special! Stock up, save money, make gains.
Key Number 2 – Buy your produce at a local farmer’s market or food stand.
One of my favorite things to do on Saturday morning is to go to the Kalamazoo Farmer’s Market and pickup my produce for the week. Two main reasons for this: 1. The produce is SO much fresher compared to store-bought and it also tastes 10 times better. 2. The produce is so much CHEAPER than in the grocery store. For example, sweet potatoes in stores are usually $1.50 per pound and by the time you cut out the eyes and cut off the bad parts, you’re not left with much. Whereas sweet potatoes at farmer’s markets are usually 50¢ – $1.00 a piece for massive potatoes. I could go on and on. Zucchini at markets are 7 for $2; peppers 3 for 75¢. If you have a farmer’s market even remotely close to you, check it out.
Key Number 3 – Eat produce that’s IN SEASON.
This can be applied to people who shop either at grocery stores or farmer’s markets. I love asparagus and zucchini, but I also know they can be really cheap…or really expensive if they’re not in season. Here in Michigan, asparagus is in season April – early June. You bet your ass I’m eating asparagus a TON in that time; it’s fresh, it’s cheap. Now, other times of the year? If I’m really being conscientious about my budget, I’m eating zucchini (in season), green beans, riced cauliflower. There’s no reason to splurge and spend money when I can easily have a delicious alternative, save money, and put those funds towards other areas of my life that will help me reach my goals.
So there you have it. Three of the major keys I incorporate into my life in order to eat as healthy as possible, while not killing my wallet.
Until next time and as always, 1Love.
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