Good nutrition is important at any age. But for older adults on a tight budget, regular access to nutritious foods can be limited—and expensive.
A new program aims to change that by making it easier to get healthy foods at the local grocery store for an affordable price. With Healthy Savings® powered by AARP Foundation, shoppers pay a small fee of $4.99 per calendar year for a card that can save them up to $200 a month on groceries.
The program is part of AARP Foundation’s work to help people over 50 with limited income eat more nutritious foods, ultimately improving their well-being. Research shows that more than 10 million older adults don’t get enough nutritious food on a daily basis, most often because they can’t afford it.
Eating healthy is about more than affordability, however. Not only does Healthy Savings reduce costs, it also identifies healthy options in the store. All products available through Healthy Savings are scored against the USDA’s Healthy Eating Index to make sure they qualify as nutritious. The index makes it convenient to choose the healthiest foods, which include lean meats, eggs, yogurt, whole grains, and a wide range of other options.
The typical over-50 diet scores low in key food groups like whole grains and dairy. By encouraging the purchase of more of these nutrients through coupon discounts, Healthy Savings can help older adults:
•Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
•Reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
•More easily manage a chronic disease.
•Increase or maintain energy levels.
Shoppers who sign up for Healthy Savings receive a card in the mail and can download a mobile app, both of which can be used at 22,000 grocery stores across the U.S. for instant savings at checkout. The savings come on top of any from store loyalty cards and manufacturers’ coupons (so long as coupons don’t add up to more than the price of the item).
Each week, new coupons are automatically loaded onto the card and app—no coupon clipping required. Over the course of a year, Healthy Savings can save shoppers as much as $2,400.
More information, including recipes and tips for shopping smart, is at aarpfoundation.org/save.