Shopping at the grocery store is an age-old battle between you, your pocketbook, and your waistline. The best way to conquer both the urge to overspend and to buy junk food is called “perimeter shopping.”
What Is Perimeter Shopping?
Simple: When you get to the grocery store, grab a shopping cart and make your way around the outside aisles, skipping most of the food in the inner aisles. The majority of grocery stores display have their produce, meat, dairy, and bakery sections on the outermost perimeter, so you can generally snag everything you actually need. It’s the inner aisles that showcase all the processed foods, which are both unhealthy and more expensive. If you enter the fray for, say, healthy cereal, look high and low—the worst junk food is often right at eye-level as a marketing ploy.
How Much Can Perimeter Shopping Really Save You (In Dollars And Calories)?
Say you want a snack. An apple would cost roughly 75 cents, whereas a bag of apple chips would cost close to $3. The apple is about 130 calories (for 242 grams), whereas the apple chips would ring in at about 175 calories (for only 72 grams). So, the apple is less than a third the price, and gives you more than triple the food—and “full factor”—for fewer calories.
The Supermarket Has Massive Savings Power In Its Own Right.
Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 spend an average of almost $3,000 per year on eating out. Meanwhile, if an average lunch out costs about $8 and a homemade one costs $3, you could save over $4,000 within three years simply by bringing your lunch to work!
To figure out how much money you could save by cooking just a little bit (and we really mean just a little bit), play around with this Lunch Savings Calculator.
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