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With the cost of food going up every week, people are looking for ways to continue to buy healthy food without busting the budget. If you are looking for tips to save money on groceries while continue to get excellent nutrition, consider these 10 tips.

Plan ahead

Modern supermarkets are laid out in ways that encourage you to spend more money. You will find a "special" on out-of-season berries just a few steps from the display of cabbage. You will see bags of potatoes next to neat packages of "microwave-ready" baking potatoes next to microwaveable packages of already-mashed potatoes, with a 2,000% difference in price.

Grocers display their wares with the hope that you will come in to buy something cheap and wind up buying a much more expensive version of the same food item. To keep from spending money on impulse items, make a shopping list. But don't just list the foods you need to buy. Have in mind how and when you will prepare them, knowing exactly what you will cook and what you will buy ready-made. Making plans to use less expensive grocery items helps you avoid the temptation to spend more.

Snack before you shop

Shopping while hungry is the root cause of many food budget overruns. If your blood sugar levels are running low, your brain does not have the fuel it needs to make good decisions.

Snacking before you shop is especially important if you have migraine headaches. People who have migraines have a physiological quirk that causes their bodies to make lots of insulin when they experience stress.

If you have migraines and you are also dealing with a tight food budget, your body will start making lots of insulin just as soon as you walk into the store. Your blood sugar levels will plummet, and you will wheel your cart away from the produce counter over to the bakery counter to get something to eat right then and there—or at least that will be your natural tendency. A nibble of crackers or a handful of nuts before you get into the car to go the market can help you stick to your shopping list and save money.

Make food that tastes better the second day

Eating leftovers stretches the food budget. Sometimes eating leftovers is just something we all do to avoid wasting money, but sometimes food actually tastes better the second day.

What kinds of food taste better if you hold them for a day in the refrigerator? Soups, chili, meat loaf, anything you make with ginger, desserts made with spices, and salads made with mustard or mayonnaise tend to develop a richer palate of flavors if they are held for more than 24 hours. Foods you prepare with a marinade may also develop deeper flavors during refrigeration. Just be sure to put leftovers in the refrigerator promptly to avoid bacterial growth. Salads made with mayonnaise or salad dressings, by the way, smother bacteria and stay fresher longer than salads without.
Continue reading after recommendations

  • Kathleen M. Zelman. How to Eat Cheap – But Healthfully – Despite Rising Food Costs, WebMd, 4 January 2011. Accessed 28 May 2011.
  • Photo courtesy of Jayna on Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/jayna/282674930