How to Eat Healthy on a Budget
Changing your diet to a healthier one can be a seemingly difficult task. However, for some, it’s not the idea of switching lunch from pizza to more greens that’s hard. What’s hard is the higher cost of living a healthy lifestyle. The possibility of surpassing one’s budget is enough to deter anyone from purchasing products of greater nutritional value over cheaper options. Here are some easy ways to incorporate healthier foods into your meals WITHOUT breaking the bank:
By Jennifer Meseck
Eat at Home
It’s no secret that eating out is more expensive than eating at home. If you’re trying to eat healthier on a budget, then it will save you so much more if you make food at home. You can make more than what the restaurant gives for a cheaper price. Plus, you avoid the less than healthy ways that restaurants cook foods you would assume to be healthy. You spend less and may benefit from greater nutritional value when you eat at home over going out.
Plan Meals Before You Go to the Store
There have been SO MANY TIMES that I’ve gone to the grocery store without a list and gone home with more food than I needed. I left with quite the hole in my pocket, but I could’ve completely avoided this. Planning out my meals each week helps to keep myself from buying too much. I know exactly what I need and only go down the aisles that have those items. This will reduce spending as well as the amount of time you spend in store.
Don’t Buy Precut Produce
Don’t. Seriously, just don’t. Stores will raise the prices of precut fruits and veggies to be way more expensive than what you’d pay if you just cut them yourself. Additionally, precut produce tends to go bad way too quickly. Just buy them yourself. I know it’s a hassle to cut them yourself, but ultimately, it will save you money and allow you to maintain the freshness of your veggies for a longer amount of time.
Try to Shop in Season
Vegetables and fruits are always cheaper when you buy in season. It’s super easy to look up what is in season as well. By being aware of this, you can save a lot more. For example, most berries will be cheaper in the summer than in the winter while cauliflower is cheaper during the winter rather than the summer. Make sure you look up what produce is in season for a greater savings!
Read the Weight and Price Tag
This gets so many people it’s insane. It is SO easy to just compare prices and choose whichever one costs less; however, you could be getting duped by doing this. Read the ounces!! Two jars of almonds with the same sized containers may have slightly differing prices. This doesn’t mean the cheaper one is better. Look and see how many ounces of actual food it contains, and you might surprise yourself. If you do this, you can make sure you get more bang for your buck.
Some of the food I tend to buy every week on my $50 budget is kale, carrots, asparagus, cucumbers, bananas, apples, peanut butter, hummus, sweet potatoes, almonds, ground turkey meat, eggs, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice. I buy more than this, but these are my favorite things to make sure I grab at the grocery store.
By implementing one or all of these tips, you can easily eat better while maintaining a budget!