You have probably had some sticker shock if you have ever gone to the grocery store with high hopes of starting a healthy diet. While it may seem that the only way is to break the bank, we have some tips on how to eat healthy on a budget.
So, how do we do this? Some really good things come from planning. You are more than halfway there if you approach how to eat healthy on a budget with the right mindset. Don't think of this as an unmanageable task. Instead, think of it as educating yourself and getting fit at the same time.
Some smart planning combined with conscious shopping and good choices will make all the difference. Plus, you will not only be boosting your health, but your bank account will also benefit.
After you have set your mind into a positive mindset, learning how to eat healthy on a budget won’t be as difficult as you thought. Let's break this down into some sure-fire tips to get you on the health and wellness journey without having to hire a chauffeur:
When you can visualize your plan, it can help you get on the right path and stay there. Get a separate calendar and add your food ideas to each day. This will help you create a shopping list that will help you steer clear of bad choices.
Typically, the more you buy, the less the cost per item. Check prices to see if buying one avocado or a bag of 5 will cost less for each fruit. Of course, if you are not going to consume five avocados and they go bad, that's a waste of money, so make sure you are buying what you need.
Sometimes, buying less will end up saving you more. Also, check out the big warehouse-type stores that have great deals when buying in bulk.
Local farmers' markets have great deals on fresh fruits and veggies; there's nothing like homegrown! Look for in-season produce for the freshest and most affordable options.
Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables are usually packaged the day they are picked, cost less, and can be just as nutritious. Make sure to check the labels for added salt, sugar, or artificial flavors.
When you're preparing dinner, make extra and freeze it. Better yet, put them in individual portion-sized freezer bags or containers, and you'll have quick go-to meals ready and waiting.
Pre-packaged food usually costs more and is less nutritious than cooking from scratch. That extra time you take to make a homemade meal will be good for your health and your wallet. Look for healthy, time-saving recipes, including easy and healthy ways to make dressings, rubs, and sauces.
Plant-based proteins are often less expensive than animal proteins and are very healthy foods to incorporate into your diet. Try adding beans, lentils, and tofu for a protein boost.
Store brands and generics are typically cheaper than name brands and can be as tasty and nutritious. Don't skip over generics when shopping; you may get a more nutritional bang for your buck.
Most stores offer a shopper's savings card and digital coupons. Sign up and save!
Eating at a restaurant or ordering takeout can put a huge dent in your budget. Making meals at home can not only be more cost-effective, but by knowing the ingredients you are consuming, your diet can be much healthier.
Use what you buy. Purchasing in bulk only to throw food away because it has gone bad is a waste of money. Plan your meals before you go to the grocery store and use what you buy before its expiration date.
Cook once and eat twice! You can save time and effort and avoid wasting food by being a little creative with leftovers. You can turn some plain white rice leftover from dinner into tomorrow's fried rice or use leftover veggies for a stir-fry. The possibilities are endless!
Decide how much you want to put towards your weekly or monthly food budget and keep track of what you're spending. Monitoring and visualizing how much you spend at the grocery store will help keep you on track.
Remember, eating healthy on a budget doesn't have to be hard on your wallet. A little thought will have you planning some great meals and sticking within your budget.
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Linda Guerrera is the Digital Content Manager for Health Products For You. As an award-winning media professional, she has spent her entire career as on on-air radio personality, program director, voice-over artist ...
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