How to Eat Healthy on a Budget
Everyone wants to eat healthy, but not everyone has sufficient money to buy nutritious food. If you want to live a healthy lifestyle, but you want to stick to a low budget, don’t worry. Here are some easy tips you can follow.
What You’ll Need:
Determine Your Budget And Your Diet Plan
eating healthyMany people complain that they don’t have enough money to spend on good, nutritious food. Instead of doing this, determine and maximize what budget you have. Set a realistic but manageable budget, according to the other financial obligations you have. If you know what your baseline is, you can form realistic expectations.
At the same time, you must determine what type of healthy diet you’d like to have. While most people stick to a certain diet where they only eat one type of food group (for example, whole-wheat diet), this isn’t very healthy. It’s best if you get a diverse diet, based mostly on unprocessed plant products, such as fruits, grains and veggies.
While food items usually have certain average price tags, there are instances when prices vary between store chains, groceries and neighborhoods. Purchasing certain brands or varieties from one store instead of the one you’re used to, might save you a lot of cash. Research about food rates and upcoming sales. You can get information online or from magazines and newspapers. Keep your eyes and ears out for news about bulk sales in certain groceries. Sometimes, supermarkets also have early-bird specials and free coupon giveaways. This are great opportunities to save cash.
Prepare Home Cooked Meals
It’s nice to buy something healthy from a restaurant or from your office cafeteria, but these purchases add a considerable amount to your budget. If you prepare healthy food yourself, you’ll save bundles of cash. Make it a habit to prepare your meals at home instead of buying them outside. It’s a good idea to use scratch food ingredients and leftovers. You can find cookbooks and recipes that ask for the ingredients you have. Raid your fridge and don’t let anything go to waste.
Buy From Local Farmers’ Market
Locally-grown products are more cost-friendly compared to those that came from other places, because they don’t have out-of-season growing or shipping costs. Find a local farmers’ market near you and buy meat and produce (fruits, vegetables and grains) to buy. Ask around for bargains and make sure to choose the freshest varieties available.
Another tip: Eat in season. Harvested food items cost less when they’re in season because there’s an abundance. Find out which healthy food items are in season at which times of the year, and make these your primary food choice for that time period. Not only are they discounted, but they’re also fresh.
Avoid Eating Out Too Often
You might love to eat in certain restaurants, but aside from being costly, these are sometimes not as healthy as you think. Ignore the urge to eat out. Try to reduce these dining experiences at least once or twice a week. When you do get to eat out, only pick out inexpensive, fat and cholesterol-free dishes. If you are with someone, share. This will avoid you from indulging too much and help you save cash.
Choose Your Food Wisely
Some food items are healthy, but expensive, but there are others that are very affordable. Here are some healthy food choices you can include in your budget that won’t cost too much.
Cans of sardines and tuna - These will give you your needed dose of omega-3.
Milk - A good source of vitamin D and calcium. It’s cheap and healthy.
Tofu - A healthy and inexpensive replacement for meat, or an ingredient for fresh fruit smoothies.
Eggs - A dozen can last for a week or so, and is full of protein.
Fruits and veggies - green vegetables, berries, and colorful veggies are great. Buy them according to season and use for salads or mix in other dishes.
Oatmeal - Compared to cereal, it’s a cheaper and more nutritious breakfast option.
Just because you eat healthy doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money. Remember these tips, and have a nutritious, but cost-friendly diet everyday.