Eating healthy can be tricky, not to mention expensive! But there are still a lot of ways that you can eat healthy and not break the bank. Here are 10 Easy Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget!
1. Make a Menu Plan
Set aside a day of the week to plan out your weekly menu plan. Having your meals pre-planned can drastically reduce your grocery bill because you only buy what’s on your list, and you are less likely to impulse purchase.
PRO TIP: If you want to save even more time during the week prep your meals on the weekend so you only have to heat and eat. This also reduces the likelihood of grabbing drive-through at lunchtime if you’ve already got your meals ready to go!
2. Stick to Your List
Make your list and stick to it. As a general rule, shop the perimeter of the store first so you’ll start to fill your cart with whole foods. The middle of the store contains the unhealthy and processed foods, so if you end up in those aisles, look at the top or bottom of the shelves rather than straight ahead. The most expensive items are usually placed at eye level.
3. Buy Whole Foods
To eat healthy on a budget, eating whole foods is where you need to start.
Processed or pre-prepared foods are generally more expensive, less nutritious, and usually contain preservatives or other ingredients that are not good for you.
4. Cook at Home
I know it can be a drag, but preparing your own meals is one of the absolute biggest money savers when it comes to eating healthy on a budget.
Try eating breakfast and dinner at home and taking your lunch to work instead of grabbing drive-through. Pack your lunch the night before so you have things ready to go in the morning! Plus – when you are preparing your own food you are in control of all of the ingredients. Double-bonus.
5. Cook Large Portions and use Your Leftovers
You can save both time and money by cooking large meals. If you do things right, you’ll never know you were eating the same “meal” multiple times – you just have to be creative! Leftovers are great for soups, stir-fries, salads, or burritos.
6. Buy Seasonal Produce
Local produce that is in season is usually cheaper, plus it is usually at its nutritional peak. When you purchase out of season produce, it often has to be transported halfway around the world to get to you, which is not good for your budget.
Another tip: buy produce by the bag if possible. It’s much cheaper!
7. Buy Frozen Produce
Do you avoid buying frozen produce because you think it isn’t as healthy as fresh produce? Well, you’re not alone. BUT…
Did you know that because frozen vegetables are picked and quickly flash-frozen, they are actually often more nutritious than fresh produce?? The fresh produce you buy at the grocery store is often picked too early so that it doesn’t over-ripen before it makes its way to your table.
8. Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk can be a real money saver.
If you have a big-bulk store nearby (Sam’s, Costco), you can easily buy enough food (and other household necessities) to last you for months all in one trip. This might cost more up front, but it is great for your grocery budget in the long run.
Look for grains, such as brown rice, millet, barley and oats – these items will keep for a long time if stored in airtight containers. This is also true for beans, lentils, some nuts and dried fruit.
The most expensive items on your grocery budget are typically meat and dairy (did you know you can freeze cheese??). Try stockpiling these items when they are on markdown so you won’t have to pay full price for the most expensive items in your grocery cart.
🔥HOT TIP: Ask your butcher what days he typically does meat markdowns.
10. Buy Generic
Generics always cost less, and most of the time there is little – if any – difference between them and the name brand.
Eating healthy isn’t always easy when you’re on a budget, but these 10 Easy Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget will help you eat a filling, healthy, and satisfying diet even when you’re broke!
For more grocery shopping tips, check on this post on Ten Easy Ways to Save Money On Groceries.