By Kristen Hicks-Roof PhD, RDN, LDN, CLC and Marissa Schwam MS
It’s the time we’ve all been waiting for, the start of 2021! Of course, we have high hopes for what’s to come as we leave 2020 in the past, but how can we ensure that we start off the New Year right?
A lot of us have New Year resolutions and pick either a goal that we may have struggled with in the past or a new goal that we hope to accomplish in the future. Most of the time, New Year resolutions are economic related or health related such as “I want to save more money” or “I want to eat more fruits and vegetables.” What if I told you that you could accomplish both goals at the same time? Here are some tips to help you eat healthy on a budget this New Year:
- Make a list before you go to the store. Planning out what you need for the week before you go to the store will help reduce the amount of “extra” or non-essential items that land in your cart. Most find it helpful to plan out specific meals for the days of the week and create a list of ingredients for those meals. This can then be used as the grocery list because it will have everything you need for the week.
- Shop the sales and use the coupons. Clipping coupons and utilizing BOGO sales can save an individual an average of $30 – $50 a week. (Leone et al., 1996) You can find coupons in local store ads or in “junk mail” we trash from the mail. Some stores will advertise discounts or BOGO items right on the shelves. Our local grocers also use their apps to directly add the coupons on to your account.
- Compare labels. High priced name brand foods are often identical to the store brand or generic brand. The only difference is usually the brand name products often cost more. Compare the labels to determine which item is the best bang for your buck.
- Don’t shop hungry. Shopping hungry can cause a person to increase the amount they spend at the store. Studies have shown that “hungry shoppers” spend on average, 60 percent more than “non-hungry shoppers” (Phys.org).
These four simple tips will help you not only achieve your health-related goals this new year, but it will also help you achieve your financial goals. Happy New Year!
Kristen K. Hicks-Roof Ph.D., RDN, LDN is an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Brooks College of Health, University of North Florida.