Food shopping? How to buy healthy and save money at the same time

DETROIT – At the Prince Valley Market on Detroit’s Michigan Avenue, the shelves are fully stocked and there are plenty of options.

Customers say they are paying close attention to how much things cost in all places.

“Prices are very high,” said South Hopkins Dora Hopkins.

Hopkins has a priority in buying healthy foods, but be careful when comparing prices.

“It’s good for my health. Some things are high, you know, then I try to find something that can be priced lower, ”Hopkins said.

Bethany Thayer, a registered dietitian-nutritionist at Henry Ford Health, has a great approach.

“I always hear people say that healthy food is more expensive than healthy food, and I don’t buy it for a minute. I think there are all sorts of ways to eat healthier and not spend so much money, ”Thayer said.

As food prices continue to rise dramatically, many families have to make tough decisions about what to buy. We asked Thayer to go shopping with us for her tips and tricks to save money on healthy foods.


He said he starts saving before he leaves home.

“Pre-planning is the best way to save money at the grocery store, and it’s also the way people don’t do it,” Thayer said. “It’s likely to fly.”

Thayer recommends arranging weekly meals, checking what you have at home, and then making a shopping list.

“Putting that on a food list will help you make better purchases in the store, but it doesn’t buy too much and waste money on food you don’t eat.”

Two other top tips:

“You heard it before, don’t come to the store hungry. You’re going to start buying things you didn’t intend to buy, ”Thayer said. “And the second number, just try and come. When you come up with something out of the ordinary, then they have to re-think their position.

In the product aisle, pay more attention to the whole fruit than to the pre-prepared options. Thayer quickly found a prime example of potential savings.


“The whole watermelon is $ 7.99 compared to this half watermelon, which is $ 8.84 compared to this (small) bowl, which is $ 5.02.”

With fruits and vegetables, don’t assume that pre-packaged is a better offer. Make up your mind!

We found that the individual haloes were four for a dollar, 25 cents each. The three-pound halo bag was $ 7.99, which seemed like a saving, but when we actually counted it, it only had 16 halo in it, making 50 cents each!

This big difference also surprised our expert.

Thayer says you can save by buying non-organic products.

“A lot of people think their family is doing well by buying some organic vegetables. The reality is from a food standpoint, they’re the same, but organics cost a lot more, ”Thayer said.

Thayer says onions and potatoes are a cheap way to extend meals all year round.

“It’s a good way to add a little flavor without using salt in your sweeter products and potatoes – a great source of things like vitamin C and potassium,” explains Thayer.


Moving down the cereal aisle, we saw that the offer was better than the Raisin Bran boxes made in the bag.

“We saw that the cereal bag is $ 27 ounces for $ 5, $ 25 ounces for $ 6. So save $ 1 and get a little more,” Thayer said.

With oats, even bigger was better. The box and the box of ten individual envelopes were almost the same price, but the box was three times as large.

For cereals in general, Thayer said the healthiest option for whole wheat is often the same price as the less nutritious version. That was true in the case of the pastries and breads we checked.

Cooking oils are often expensive. Thayer said canola oil and olive oil are both good sources of monounsaturated fats, but canola is a much cheaper option, especially baked or fried.

“In this case, it’s just over two dollars, more than six dollars for olive oil,” Thayer explained.

When it comes to meat, sales are key to shopping. Thayer recommends serving more “meat-free meals” and watching your portions.


“You only need three ounces or the size of your palm,” Thayer said.

Frozen fish is another healthy way to save costs.

“Tilapia is usually a lower priced fish. And again, these would mean that you have to spend for these processes. Salmon is usually what people go for and sometimes you can get a good price for salmon especially when it’s frozen, ”Thayer said.

If you frequently throw away spoiled fresh produce before use, go to the freezer section.

“Buying ice cream is a good way to save some money, because we can throw away what we want and then put it back in the freezer for another time,” Thayer said.

When it comes to healthy drinks, Thayer recommends keeping tap water and low-fat dairy.

“One way to save money in the grocery store is to not spend on drinks. You can spend a lot of money on the drinks aisle and not get a lot of food in the process, ”Thayer said.


Lastly, beware of bulk purchases. People often think that saving money by buying packaged healthy food is money-saving, but Thayer stressed that you need to do the math and make sure you are able to use that food before it spoils.

Although it takes a little more planning and time to save in the grocery store, Thayer said it’s a well-used time.

“People are starting to make decisions, and hopefully making more informed decisions about what they’re buying.”

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