Eating Healthy on a Budget
Most people want to make healthy eating a top priority, but one of the biggest reasons why they find it hard to make a healthy eating commitment is because of cost. The good news is that eating foods that fuel your body doesn’t have to be expensive – you just need to create a smart healthy eating plan and stick to it!
If you’re looking for somewhere to start, check out these 12 tips for embracing (and committing to) healthy eating habits while sticking to your budget!
12 Tips for Eating Healthy
(While Sticking to Your Budget)
- Make a grocery list and stick to it
- Plan your meals
- Buy fruits and vegetables that are in season, and plan your meals according to seasonality
- Buy ‘ugly’ fruits and vegetables
- Buy certain foods in bulk
- Stock up on non-perishable items that go on sale
- Replace meat with cheaper protein alternatives
- Avoid buying junk foods
- Store and cook based on perishability
- Cook large portions and freeze leftovers
- Pack your lunch with leftovers
- Limit how often your family orders in or goes out for dinner
Once you’re at the store, don’t stray from your grocery list – that way, you won’t buy foods that you don’t need, or food that may not fit into your budget plan!
If you have a week’s worth of meals planned before you even create your shopping list or head to the store, you will know exactly what you need to buy and how much. You won’t just save yourself money by planning your meals – you will also save yourself some stress during busy weeks!
In most cases, fruits and vegetables that are in season do not have to travel as far to get to the grocery store – this means that the food you buy will likely be fresher and the transportation costs lower (compared to if you were buying food that is out of season).
If you are planning your meals every week, keep seasonality in mind. This will allow you to save money and eat fresher food – a win-win!
The ‘ugly’ fruit and vegetable trend is saving a lot of delicious and nutritious produce from going to waste, but it is also saving shoppers some cash – because they may not look perfect, ‘ugly’ fruits and vegetables often ring in at a lower price. Take advantage of any mark downs and consider buying ‘ugly’ produce – you will be eating healthy while easily sticking to your budget!
Sometimes it is more cost-effective to buy certain foods in bulk quantities. For example, many grains like brown rice and oats keep fresh for long periods of time and are almost always available in bulk (often at a cheaper price than portioned packages). Other foods to consider buying in bulk (if you have the proper storage options available at home) include lentils, beans, dried fruits, and certain nuts.
If a staple non-perishable food item comes on sale, stock up! If you are sure you will eat it at some point in the future, and you know it won’t spoil, stocking up now will save you money down the road.
Getting your daily dose of protein is always important, so why not explore alternative protein sources like hemp seeds, legumes, eggs, or nuts? In addition to being nutritious and easy to prepare, these foods are often less expensive than meat. Many of these items also have a longer shelf life – which is a great bonus!
If you know you and your family will have difficulties cutting down on meat consumption, ease yourself into a ‘Meatless Monday’ routine where you experiment with high-protein recipes that are meat-free! To get started, try our Bell Pepper Protein Bowl, or explore some of these tasty recipes.
Not only are these foods unhealthy – they are often more expensive because they are processed and packaged for convenience. You are better off avoiding as much junk food as possible, and instead buying whole foods with minimal packaging. Not sure how to steer clear of the junk foods you crave most? Check out these 12 tasty and healthy alternatives to your favorite junk foods!
One of the best ways to ensure you eat all your perishable food is by being organized with your kitchen storage. Bringing perishable foods to the front of your shelves makes it easier to take stock of what you need to eat first; this will also help to guide your meal planning. By organizing your kitchen storage, your family can reduce their food waste footprint and save money at the same time – after all, food that is thrown out is money wasted!
Looking for more ways to limit how much food your family throws out? We have 15 great tips that will help you tackle the issue of food waste at home!
Cooking larger portions can save you both time and money. While making dinner throughout the week, make a point of preparing extra food for leftovers. You can easily freeze this extra food for an easy meal option on busy days – you’ll thank yourself later when you have a delicious and healthy homemade meal ready to go when you’re pressed for time.
Rather than freezing your leftovers, you can also plan on sending them for lunch the next day or later in the week! The money you save on packing food, rather than buying a lunch every day, will add up quicker than you think.
If you change your perception of eating out and begin to look at it as a treat, you will be shocked at how much money you can save! And if you only eat out or order in occasionally, it will make those times spent with family and friends that much more special.
Create Your Game Plan!
With the proper tools and a smart strategy, eating healthy on a budget is possible.
Looking for more resources to help you come up with a healthy eating game plan? We’ve got you covered – download The Ultimate Guide to Snacking Healthy On-the-Go to kick-start your healthy eating journey!