Stretching Your Budget When Shopping for Diabetic-Friendly Foods

There is food that’s clearly beneficial to your health, especially when you have diabetes, and there’s food that’s better avoided. Getting a great deal on food you should best avoid isn’t such a great deal after all. Don’t let a few dollars, or the thrill of victory from that great deal, steal your attention away from your health.

There are people who are so incredibly proficient at managing discount coupons that their visits to the grocery are sometimes nearly free — can you say compulsive? It might be best to direct your compulsive tendencies more toward planning your meals than to collecting thousands of coupons, but store or brand coupons are one way to save money on groceries that you’ve probably done before.

Saving money on food is logical and very important to some. But, no matter which way you choose to save on groceries, it’s very important not to get more focused on how much you’re saving than on what you’re buying.

Here are some great ways to save on groceries:

  • Look for coupons and sales on foods that work with your diabetes meal plan. Canned tuna or salmon are great examples of foods you can grab at a bargain.

  • Register for every store’s preferred customer plan, because some deals apply only to registered customers.

  • Shop for fresh produce that’s in season, because it’s likely to be less expensive. You may also find better deals at farmer’s markets or stores that specialize in produce.

  • Check frozen and canned fruits and vegetables. As long as there’s not added salt or sugar, frozen and canned food is as nutritious as fresh, sometimes even retaining more nutrients than fresh.

  • Try generic foods, which are always less expensive than brand names. You may notice a difference in some specific products, but most of the time generic brands are virtually identical in nutrient content and taste.

  • Buy foods in bulk. That doesn’t mean a 50-pound sack of potatoes, but simply buying something like yogurt in a larger container saves significant money when compared to single-serving containers.

  • Do your major shopping alone, if possible. It’s important that you take time to read labels and ingredient listings and compare prices. It’s easy to feel hurried if an uninterested companion or children are tagging along.

  • Look on high and low shelves. The food at eye level is sometimes higher priced than foods stocked in less-convenient spots.

  • Avoid buying prepared food that you can easily fix yourself.

  • Consider growing a little of your own food. Not only is the food the best tasting and the freshest, but the satisfaction derived from seeing your seeds or plants turn into food at the table is enormous.

One way to save money at the grocery is to make sure you know what you already have on hand. Perfectly good food can get pushed to the back of the pantry or freezer, never again to see the light of day. Take a look in the way back of your freezer or cupboards every now and then, do an inventory, and make a point of using older items nearing their expiration date.

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