Save money by eating healthy

Between the costs of tuition, bills and a fun social life, eating nutritiously can be the last thing on our minds. Compared to a Tim Hortons doughnut or a McDonald’s meal, fresh produce at first glance appears to be pricey. However, this assumption proves to be false when looking at the long-term.

Arm yourself with knowledge on how to navigate the grocery store and you won’t have to go near a fast food joint ever again.

Which grocery store to shop at is a major choice that will affect how empty your wallet becomes when buying food. Big chain stores such as Safeway or Sobeys are able to sell their products at expensive prices just because of their company name. Becoming a member by acquiring a club card will save you money and even if you do not regularly shop at these stores it is worth it to have on hand just in case (especially because membership is free).

Check the newspaper or the Internet for special sales at these grocery stores. Make a point of only buying canned goods when they are on sale. These products are on sale every other week so there is no reason to buy them at the regular price.

Local grocery stores often sell their products for much cheaper than the brand name grocery stores do. Take the time to go to a couple different grocery stores in your area to compare prices. Fresh produce in particular has an enormous difference in cost depending where you shop. Try checking out Chinatown as well for some great deals.

Other ways to cut costs is to make your own tea or coffee at home rather than buying it at a coffee shop. Keep a journal of how much you spend on different food products to see where else you can cut back.

Healthy food improves your mood and attitude and fuels your brain. It provides energy and helps us sleep soundly, unlike sugary and salty fast food items. This alone makes it worth buying healthy food at a slightly higher cost.

Also take into account how many meals you will get out of the healthier food as compared to a fast food meal: a bag of oatmeal and a few apples makes for a great breakfast that will feed you for days, whereas fast food only gives you one meal.

Another problem with unhealthy processed foods is that they are loaded with sugar and salt and often have very little in the way of nutrients or fiber. When eating this food we are more likely to become hungrier faster.

University of Winnipeg student Sagan Morrow writes a health and wellness blog.

Published in Volume 63, Number 16 of The Uniter (January 15, 2009)

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