Eating healthy is key to living a long and fruitful life. Without the proper food choices, you could put your body at risk for developing infections and diseases. Eating healthy is often really difficult though. Processed foods often appear cheaper than nutrient dense fresh foods at first glance, and they are a lot more convenient. Eating healthy means cooking healthy, which can take time and effort. If you are a senior, then you may find it even more difficult to eat healthy and follow healthy lifestyles now than you did in your younger years. Many seniors face roadblocks to eating healthy such as finding rides to stores and living off of fixed incomes. However, with a few simple guidelines, you can still eat wonderful, nutrient dense foods that will keep your health in check as you age.
Make a List
Making a list is key to having a successful shopping trip. Grocery lists can ensure that you will get everything you need, and ensure that you do not grab unnecessary items and bust your budget. It is a great idea to keep a running list on your refrigerator. This way, you can add items to the list throughout the week whenever you realize that you need said items. By the time it is time to travel to the grocery store, you will not have to worry about remembering all of those little items that you thought of throughout the week. Lists are also a great way to see exactly what you buy each time you go to the store. This way, you can compare your lists to your receipts to determine if you can cut out certain items and save more money.
Eat Before You Shop
Never go to the store hungry. This tip is great for anyone who is going grocery shopping. If you go hungry, then everything in the store will look good and you will inevitably end up spending way too much money. Instead, eat a light meal before you venture to the store so that you are not too full to shop, but you also are not so hungry that you are grabbing items from every part of the store.
Look at Store Ads and Coupon Offers
Store ads and coupons can save you hundreds of dollars each year. Store ads are the perfect way to find great deals on items that you need. Plus, if you clip coupons each week, then you can often combine store ad sales with your coupons to get an even better deal. Clipping coupons is a wonderful way to save money, and it is a great hobby for the elderly. If you love to clip coupons, then search for a coupon clipping club in your area. You might be able to go to meetings and find new friends who share your hobby.
Invite Friends and Family Members
Inviting your friends and family members to go shopping with you can make the whole experience a lot more fun. Not only will you be able to socialize during your shopping trip, but often butchers and deli workers can split larger portions of food items into smaller portions for you and your friend to share. This way, you both can get the same item, save money, and keep your food wastes low.
Sign Up for Discount Cards
Store discount cards can help you save money every time you shop. Check to see if the grocery store you frequent the most has a store discount card. Plus, most grocers offer extra discounts for seniors. By signing up for a card, you could benefit from the store’s weekly deals and get an extra percentage off of your entire bill for being a senior.
Try New Foods
Trying new foods can keep you healthy and happy. If you eat the same foods all of the time, then your body is not getting a great variety of nutrients and calories. Instead, search for sale items at your grocery store that you would like to try. Pick up a new vegetable or fruit, and have fun trying it out and cooking with the new item. Adding new food items to your diet can help introduce you to new nutrients and can bring a sense of adventure to the kitchen.
Shop in the Perimeter of the Store First
The perimeter of every grocery store holds the most nutritious and the freshest foods. Before you meander down the aisles, shop in the perimeter as much as you can. It is here that you will gain the most nutrients from your food choices and will be able to stay healthy.
Grab Sale Items
If an item that you absolutely love goes on sale, then grab many of them. This way, you can keep the item in stock in your pantry or fridge and cut down on your grocery bills in later weeks. Make sure the item is not perishable and will keep in your kitchen though before buying too many.
Budgeting for healthy food can often be difficult. To get the most bang for your buck, sit down with the store ads, your coupons, and your knowledge about food and cooking to make a proper food budget. Look for produce that is in season and for grocery items that are on sale to take up the majority of your shopping budget. Next, make a few grocery lists and determine if you can cut out any of the items on your list. If it comes down to buying a large bag of cookies or processed, packaged foods then look at how many produce items you can buy for the same price. Often, you will find that fresh food items give you more quality and quantity for the same price of packaged foods.
Eating healthy and staying on a budget can be difficult at any age. But, as we age, and our incomes become fixed it becomes harder to eat healthy all of the time. If you struggle with either of these issues, then follow the tips above to keep your health and budget on track.
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