Consumer Reports experts help us eat healthy while on a budget

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Do you dread going to the grocery store these days? Even if you used to enjoy shopping, it’s not as much fun anymore when prices seem to be even higher each time you go.

We’re all still suffering sticker shock over grocery prices. Including Natalie Marie Rowe, a mom of two who shares the meals she makes with her girls on Instagram.

“Feeding my family healthy foods and not breaking the bank has been a challenge, especially over the last year,” Rowe said.

All those increases might have you giving up on healthy eating, but Consumer Reports says finding savings on nutritious foods begins before you head to the store.

First make a list of what you need—to help avoid impulse buys. Natalie takes this tip one step further in an effort to cut corners.

“Look at the sales. I look at them. I write things down and then I create our weekly menu depending on what’s on sale,” she said.

You can also consider switching to the store brand of your favorite product.

“Consumer Reports’ testing found that they tend to cost between five and 72 percent less than the name brand product,” said Consumer Reports Trisha Calvo.

And Consumer Reports taste testing experts found most of them tasted just as good as the brand name. If you live near a discount grocery store like Aldi or Lidl, their store-brand products can be even cheaper.

Another way to save? Fill your freezer.

“With frozen produce, you only have to take out as much as you need for that meal,” Calvo said.

And if meat prices are taking too much away from your family food budget, Consumer Reports says one way to fight back is to try some plant-based proteins.

“Plant-based foods like beans and tofu tend to be less expensive than poultry, meat or seafood,” said Calvo.

Finally, skip the pre-cut fruits and veggies from the store. Although it may take more time to do your own slicing and dicing, it’ll definitely save you money.

Consumer Reports says another way to save is to plan a week’s meals at a time—so you’re not buying more food than you’ll need.

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