Stay Healthy and Save Money with These Four Grocery-Shopping Tips

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You already know that eating good food can help you feel your best, but you might not know just how important good nutrition is to your overall health. Poor diets have been linked to health risks such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even certain types of cancer.[1] It’s essential to give your body the fuel it needs to function at its best. But sometimes, that can be easier said than done.

If you’ve been to the grocery store recently, you’ve probably noticed that it’s getting more and more expensive to buy the protein, grains and produce you need to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. If you’re finding it more difficult to ensure that you have enough healthy food to eat each week, you’re not alone. This common experience, called food insecurity, is one example of what healthcare providers call social determinants of health—barriers to staying healthy that can be difficult to overcome without help. In this article, we’ll explore some helpful tips for getting the most out of your grocery budget without sacrificing proper nutrition.

Tip #1: Plan ahead

A little advanced preparation can go a long way toward helping you avoid the temptation of impulse buying when doing your weekly shopping. Before you head to the grocery store, take stock of what is in your pantry, so you don’t accidentally buy something you already have. In addition, planning menus ahead of time and maintaining a running grocery list can help ensure that you have what you need for the week ahead without overbuying. After all, there’s nothing worse than getting excited about a specific meal and then realizing you’re missing a key ingredient.

Tip #2: Look for discounts

It’s always fun to get what you need for less, and there are plenty of ways to maximize your savings with discounts, coupons, loyalty programs and more. In addition to buying the items you use frequently when they’re on sale, you can maximize your savings with physical and digital coupons, as well as by joining a loyalty or rewards program that pays you back in store discounts or fuel points.

It also doesn’t hurt to ask if your preferred grocery store offers special discount days for senior citizens or veterans, if either applies to you, so you can plan your shopping trips around those days to save even more.

Tip #3: Make friends with frozen produce

According to recommendations set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults should consume 1.5–2 cups of fruit and 2–3 cups of vegetables daily.[2]  However, the cost of fresh fruit has gone up by 10.6% since 2021, while the price of fresh vegetables has risen by 4.3% in that time.[3] What to do?

Purchasing frozen fruits and vegetables can help you cut down on food waste while saving you money. Because frozen produce can be stored in your freezer, you don’t have to worry about it going bad before you get the chance to use it. Best of all, frozen fruits and veggies retain the same nutritional value as their fresh counterparts,[4] making them an excellent way to save money in the long run without sacrificing your health.

Tip #4: Sharing is caring

As anyone who belongs to a price club like Costco or Sam’s Club can tell you, buying items in bulk can save a lot of money over purchasing smaller quantities in a traditional supermarket. However, if you live alone or in a small household, it can be difficult to store and use such large quantities of groceries. This goes double if you’re purchasing perishables like meat and dairy products.

One solution is to go in on bulk purchases with friends or relatives and divide the costs evenly. This way, you can all enjoy the savings that come with purchasing in bulk quantities without having to worry about storage or food waste issues. You can even share the cost of the price-club membership itself, which will save you even more in the long run.

As you can see, it’s possible to shop for and prepare healthy foods without breaking the bank. By following these tips, you can buy the groceries you need to maintain a balanced diet without hurting your wallet. Learn more about other ways you can stay healthy here.

Everyday health is our top priority

The ilumed team is committed to helping all individuals live healthier, happier lives. We work with healthcare partners across the country to help fight social determinants of health, such as food insecurity, that can prevent care and, ultimately, drive health disparities. Our pilot grocery-delivery program is our latest initiative to help combat food insecurity and further our goal of achieving health equity for all. If you are struggling with food insecurity or any other social determinants of health, reach out to an ilumed case manager for more information about how we can help.

[1] “Poor Nutrition,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accessed December 7, 2022,




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