‘I’m a Nutritionist, and Here’s How I Save Money Buying All the Healthy Food on Amazon’
You can essentially find anything you could ever want and need on Amazon. I recently snagged an organic sea kelp blend to season my pasta with—because, yes, that's a thing. The only downside is because of how effortless it is, the service can quickly go from something that can save you time and money to something that eats up all your paychecks. Luckily, there are some simple ways to save big when stocking up on wholesome goodies.
From knowing exactly what to buy online (and what to get at the grocery store) to the hacks that will keep your bank account happy, here's how four nutritionists shop on Amazon.
4 nutritionists share their favorite Amazon hacks
1. Go for large quantity orders
When you have foodie friends, you can turn Amazon into a quick-shipping Costco-like experience that allows you to get everything your heart desires. "I often go in with someone else for large quantity orders," says Sonya Angelone, MS, RDN, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Because when you buy in bulk, you'll always save big.
What to buy on Amazon: "I like buying food like fruit and nut mixes. l also like to purchase coffee since I can find organic dark roast at great prices. I also like purchasing nut butter protein since it's hard to find in some stores—especially almond protein powder for smoothies or to put in oatmeal to add some protein at breakfast."
What's better to buy in person: "I prefer buying fresh produce in the grocery store because I'm very picky. I usually buy produce in various stages of ripeness—like ripe avocados for dinner today and lunch tomorrow, and avocados that are less ripe so I can eat them in a few days. I also like to purchase olive oil locally. Since oils can turn rancid with heat, light, and oxygen, I always buy in small quantities from local vendors so I know how the oil has been handled in transport and stored in the store. This is also true for flaxseeds or flaxmeal, which can turn rancid very easily."
2. Use the "subscribe-and-save" option
You know that little "subscribe-and-save" option you can select right before you add an item to your cart? You might want to try it out on some of your most-purchased items. "I love the subscribe-and-save option. You can save as much as 15 percent on your favorite foods when you order on a schedule," says Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area. "I have boxes of products that arrive at my door every single month."
What to buy on Amazon: "One product I always buy on Amazon is the 24-ounce bag of Wonderful Pistachios No Shells. I love having these on hand for quickly adding plant protein, fiber, and better-for-you mono- and polyunsaturated fats to recipes. When I buy the nuts on Amazon, I get a better price point per ounce than I do at many grocery stores. I also buy pure maple syrup from Canada on Amazon. I prefer this syrup because it boasts 60-plus health-helping polyphenols, as well as the blood-sugar-helping mineral manganese and the B vitamin riboflavin."
What's better to buy in person: "I love to shop for cheese in the grocery store. I almost never decide what I want to buy until I see the selection in person. Trader Joe’s, for instance, has an awesome selection. Sometimes I’ll be in the mood for a truffle cheese, and sometimes for a softer goat cheese. I also love to use my coupons at grocery stores. Amazon is great, but when I have $1-off or similar coupons, they're an easy way to save money."
3. Scope out the Prime Pantry deals
If you're not already scoping out the Prime Pantry deals on Amazon, it's about to become your new obsession. "Go onto Prime Pantry and navigate down to the deals section," says Angela Lemond, RDN, CSP, LD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "But make your list first! You won't save money if you buy something just because it's a deal."
What to buy on Amazon: "I've been recommending the AmazonBasics brand for kitchen items and gadgets. They're great quality and—best of all—cheap!"
What's better to buy in person: "I'm a fan of buying my fresh produce items in person. That way I can hand select based on touching, smelling, and eyeballing for freshness."
4. Keep wish lists
Don't just save your wish lists for the holidays. Make them for your kitchen items, too. "I keep wish lists with items I have my eye on. It helps prevent impulse purchases, but also keeps those items readily available if you decide you can't live without them," says Torey Armul, MS, RDN, LD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "You can also track recent price changes of an item to avoid a surge price. And for things that can wait—like cookware, bakeware, cooking utensils, and such—I usually wait for Prime Day or Cyber Monday to snag a deal."
What to buy on Amazon: "I haven't ventured into buying food yet, but I do buy my kitchen staples on Amazon. I've found great deals on cast iron cookware, food storage containers, lunch boxes, a griddle, bakeware, cooking utensils, and more. You may get a good deal money-wise, but you can also get a good deal health-wise by purchasing things that support a healthy lifestyle. Take a salad dressing shaker, for example. You can find a good deal that's cheaper or price-matched with other stores, and it's a tool that can help you make more of your own nutritious foods at home. It's a win-win."
What's better to buy in person: "If a food product doesn't include the nutrition facts label in the product description, steer clear. You want to be able to read the ingredients list and nutrition facts on the back of the package, and that's one area where shopping in-person often trumps online. If it's an item that is extra tempting for you to keep at home, too, you may want to buy individual serving sizes as-needed as opposed to an online bulk order."
Here's how an RD would spend $30 at Trader Joe's:
Amazon Storefronts is about to become your new favorite place to find healthy snacks. Just be careful: People spend $3,000 a year on snacks alone, and here's how dietitians recommend keeping it under $10 a week.
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