Summer is almost over and we're packing up for a new school year! As fun as this summer has been, we know you're ready to get back to your friends, social groups, classes, and the gym. As a recent college grad, I know how tough it can be to eat healthy and stick to a tight budget when you're constantly running from class to class, so we've put together some tips to help you eat clean without breaking the bank. Use these 5 money-saving grocery store hacks to welcome a fresh start and a new semester!
Eat out less and cook more.
Eating out is convenient when you're busy studying, but it's amazing how quickly a burger here and tacos there adds up. And when you eat out, you never know exactly how many calories and processed ingredients are hidden inside what you eat. By shopping for groceries and cooking at your apartment or dorm, you save money and have the opportunity to plan out exactly what you're going to eat for the week.
Plan your meals and make a list.
Avoid impulse shopping by planning your meals and making a list. Walking into a grocery store on an empty stomach without a plan is a risky move. Take some time to put together a list of what you need for the week and stick to that list! You can even look through ads for your local store to see if there are any deals on ingredients you'll need. For added genius - incorporate one ingredient into multiple meals to make the biggest bang for your buck!
What you don’t use, freeze!
Fresh produce is incredibly affordable, and what you don’t eat right away you can freeze for later. Don't be afraid to stock up on your favorite berries and bananas. Whatever you don't eat can be frozen for creamy smoothies and DIY frozen ice cream.
Avoid the Aisles.
Have you ever noticed that the fresh produce, meats and dairy are located on the outer perimeter of the store? Like a racecar driver, stay on the outside track and avoid the middle aisles where you'll find processed, unhealthy, and often expensive snacks and frozen meals. Protect your midsection and your wallet by staying on the outside.
Get a Loyalty Card.
Most grocery stores have a FREE loyalty program that provides extra savings and coupons to shoppers. They're super easy to enroll in, and who doesn't love savings on their favorite items? Some programs allow you to enter for prizes or discounts of popular items. Enroll online or instore to begin earning your savings.
Enter the Fresh Start Sweepstakes and download the Fresh Start: College Edition recipe book for 13 recipes and hacks that will help you stay healthy while sticking to your budget! Fresh berries are the perfect flavor-packed ingredient for all of your late night study session and early morning classes. Plus, when you enter the sweepstakes, you'll be entered to win a $500 Visa gift card to start your semester off right.