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Sticking to Medi for All on a Budget

by Kelly Morrow, MS, RND, FAND; IMPEDE Study Dietitian

Bulk food bins at a grocery store

A Mediterranean diet supports digestion and overall health, thanks to its focus on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats. If you're concerned about the cost, there are practical ways to follow this dietary pattern without exceeding your budget. Below, we’ll discuss several strategies to make the Mediterranean diet more affordable.

Make a Shopping List

Planning is Key. Before heading to the store, plan your meals for the week, and make a detailed shopping list. This helps avoid impulse buys and ensures you purchase only what you need. Many grocery stores offer free online ordering and pickup, and this can also be a great strategy for making sure you stick to only what’s on your list!

Eat in Season… and/or buy Frozen Produce

Maximize Freshness and Savings. Eating fruits and vegetables in season can save you money and enhance the flavor of your meals. Seasonal produce is often priced lower due to the abundance of the harvest. If in season produce isn’t available, frozen fruits and vegetables are also a good option. They are chilled at peak freshness and are convenient and affordable. Watch out for sales and stock up!

Buy from Bulk Bins

Stock up and Save. For whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes, which are staples of the Mediterranean diet, buying in bulk can be more economical. Bulk purchasing eliminates unnecessary packaging and allows for better control over portion sizes, reducing waste and saving money. Also, having staples like grains and legumes always on hand at home makes it easier to avoid spending more money on last minute groceries or takeout.

Shop at Budget-Friendly Stores

Stores like Grocery Outlet, Trader Joe's, and Sprouts offer unique savings opportunities for the budget-conscious shopper. From Grocery Outlet's deeply discounted surplus items to Trader Joe's private label products and Sprouts' bulk bins, there are many ways to shop and save.

Eating a Mediterranean diet doesn’t have to strain your budget. By making a shopping list, eating seasonally, buying from bulk bins, and utilizing budget-friendly stores, you can enjoy the myriad benefits of this nutritious eating plan without overspending.


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