1. Eat Seasonally
Not only do fruits and veggies taste best when they’re eaten in season, they’re often less expensive, too. Pay attention to what’s plentiful at the grocery store (heirloom tomatoes will overflow come summer, and be scarce in the winter, for example) and the deals that go along with it. If you’re able, head to the farmers market for the most local produce.
2. Freeze the Overflow
Whether you’re swimming in just-picked berries or have leftover chicken bones or veggie scraps for stock, chances are it belongs in the freezer. A well-stocked freezer means less waste, and ensures you’ve got healthy ingredients at the ready. In addition to leftovers, keep frozen veggies on-hand, too. In many cases they’re more nutritious than fresh.
3. Bulk Is Best
Buying grains, nuts, and seeds in larger quantities will keep the cost down (you can find bulk bins at Whole Foods, co-ops, and other natural food stores). If properly stored (whole wheat flours and nuts are best kept in the freezer), they last a long time and are staples of a healthy diet.
4. Buy Whole Ingredients
Instead of buying chicken breast for dinner, cold cuts for lunch, and cans of soup for the cupboard—which could cost upwards of $20—purchase a whole chicken for about $8, and you’ll get all those meals and then some.