Eating well on a budget
Updated: Jul 23, 2019
Eating healthy foods can be quiet expensive. So, it can be difficult to eat well on a tight budget. However, there are many ways to save money and eat quality foods that will nourish your body.
Below you will find 10 Smart Ways to Eat Healthy on a Tight Budget:
1- Plan your meals before going grocery shopping
- If you want to save money at the grocery store, you have to plan ahead.
- Pick one day of the week to sit down, plan your meals for the upcoming week then, write down your shopping list of what you need.
- Go through your cupboards and fridge first to see what you already have and double check your list.
2- Stick to your Grocery List
- When you have planned your meals and written down your shopping list, stick to it!
- Shop the perimeter of the store first so, you won't be tempted to buy items you don't need and, by the time you find yourself in the middle of the store your cart will be full of whole foods. You will be more focused.
- The middle of the store often contains the most processed and unhealthy foods. As you shop on those aisles look for items on the top and bottom of the shelves since, the most expensive ones will be at eye-level.
3- Don't shop when you are hungry
- If you shop when you are hungry you will be tempted to stray from your Grocery list and buy things that are not good for you or budget.
- So, if you are hungry eat a piece of fruit or yogurt before you go to the grocery store.
4- Make Homemade Cooked Meals
- Preparing your own meals at home is much cheaper than eating out.
- Make it a habit and invite your family to join in to prepare the meal.
- Pick some days of the week that you have extra time and pre-cut some veggies, cut up fruits, soak beans, prepare a salad, cook larger meal portions for leftover or freeze to use another day.
- By cooking your own meal you know exactly what's in it.
5- Buy Whole Foods
- Whole foods, are cheaper than processed foods.
- For example, packed salads with dressing cost more than bulk mix greens to make a salad, and dressings usually cost more than if you make it yourself.
- The less processed foods are also often sold in larger quantities, and yield more servings per package.
6- Stop buying Junk Food
- Cut out some of the junk food from your diet.
- You would be surprised to see how much you may be paying for soda, crackers, cookies, pre-packaged meals and processed foods.
- They not only offer very little nutrition but also, they are packed with unhealthy ingredients and, they are also very expensive.
- By skipping the processed and unhealthy junk foods, you can spend more of your budget on higher quality, healthy foods.
7- Buy Products on Sales
- If your favorite products or staples are on sale and you use frequently, you should stock up on them when they're on sale.
- If it's something you'll definitely use, you may as well stock up and save some money.
- Just make sure to check expiration date.
8- Replace Meat with Plant Protein
- Eating less meat may be a good way to save money.
- Start with one day of the week without meat like 'Meatless Mondays' and go from there.
- Then try having two days per week without meat where you use other protein sources, such as beans, legumes, hemp seeds and other sources.
- These are all very inexpensive, nutritious and easy to prepare. Most of them also have a long shelf life and are therefore less likely to spoil quickly.
By skipping the processed and unhealthy junk foods, you can spend more of your budget on higher quality, healthy foods.
9- Buy in Bulk
- Buying some foods in bulk quantities can save you a lot of money.
- It's better for the environment since you can bring your own bag or container, therefore, creating less trash.
- Grains, such as brown rice, millet, barley and oats, and nuts are all available in bulk.
- They also keep for a long time, if you store them in airtight containers.
- These are all staple foods that are relatively inexpensive and can be used in a variety of healthy meals.
10- Pack your Lunch
- Eating out can be very expensive, especially if done regularly.
- Packing your lunch, snacks, drinks and other meals is less expensive and way healthier than eating out.
- If you have adapted to cooking large meals at home (see tip #4), you'll always have a steady lunch to bring with you without any additional effort or cost.
- It does require some planning, but it should save you a lot of money at the end of the month.
As you follow these tips, you will discover new ways to safe money while shopping for healthy foods, including buying imperfect produce, online bulk retailer, growing your own food, frozen fruits and veggies etc.