13 Ways You Can Eat Healthy on a Budget
Throughout the summer months, you’ve probably noticed prices creeping up. There are higher prices at the gas pump, rising rent and mortgage rates, and inflation is at a 40 year high. In short, the cost of living has risen.
Most people feel it the most at the grocery store, where their dollars are not going as far as they once were. In this current market, healthy eating may seem out of reach, but with some tweaks, you can still eat healthfully even if it feels like you’re only getting half of the grocery haul you once were. Read on to discover how you can still eat healthfully while sticking to the budget today!
- No surprise here- Planning is everything! Plan your meals and organize your week. Figure out what meals you will have each day and don’t forget about snacks, too. Write it down and plan it out. It will be less stressful for you to figure things out in advance and easier when it comes time to shop. When you have your final list- stick to it!
- Order online to save. Shop online and order pickup if you can. I know it’s not always feasible depending on where you live, but shopping online for groceries after you’ve made your list is such a game changer! You can easily track exactly how much you’re spending and add or remove things from the cart as you finish up. With free pickup at many local grocery stores, it really does save you money, stress and time. #winning
- Shop sales and shop local. Look at circulars and buy things when they’re on sale that you know you’ll use in the future. If there’s a farmers market nearby, hit that up for seasonal foods at great prices. Store coupons in an envelope for later use if you have any.
- Stop buying water. I’m totally guilty of this. There’s just something nice about buying water, until you realize that most of it is probably just glorified tap water! In the interest of a cleaner planet and trimming down your grocery budget, instead invest in a quality water filter and use a refillable water bottle. It’s so much easier too!
- Shop the perimeter of the store. A not-so-secret fact is that the whole, fresh ingredients are on the perimeter, and most of the junk is on the inside. Buying whole foods is much cheaper, as many people opt for their prepared, packaged or microwaveable counterparts. In this case, it pays off to do a bit of extra work when it comes to preparing your meals.
- Limit the amount of prepared or highly processed foods you buy. Choose whole, fresh ingredients to prepare and eat. Doing away with highly processed foods (junk food) also helps to clean up your spending. Processed foods are more expensive, and you’ll be surprised at how much you save when you choose whole ingredients. Also, that health benefit can’t go unnoticed, either.
- Grow your own (herbs, produce, etc). Ever notice how fresh, organic herbs are like 7.99 for a one-time use, tiny stalk? Grow your own and have them year around to use whenever you please! They add a nice touch of green to the kitchen, too.
- Limit take out. I’ll go ahead and give you the hard truth, though I’m sure you already know it. Ordering out, although super easy and enjoyable, can put a strain on your wallet and health. Between the delivery fees and tipping, it really adds up and if you order out frequently, you’re racking up your food expenses. Set a limit to the number of times you’ll do take out each month and stick with it. When you do order out, opt for pick up versus delivery to save extra.
- Make extra and eat the leftovers to cut down on food waste. Being mindful about eating habits, meals and cleaning out the fridge by eating leftovers really does pay off, quite literally!
- DIY lattes. Eeeek, don’t come at me. I know, the idea sounds bad but I’ve discovered how I can make my own, for a fraction of the price and with way cleaner ingredients. I mean, do you know what’s in the caramel drizzle that’s often used? Sure, $6 doesn’t seem like much, but it adds up quickly, especially if you’re getting it several times a week. Instead, make your own and then treat yourself every now and then if it’s something you really enjoy.
- Go meatless one or two days a week. Plan a day or two in which your meals are vegetarian- eggs, beans, nuts, tofu and vegetables, as the main protein source. It won’t just be good for your wallet but good for your health. Taking a break from meat pays you in a big way, saving you on your weekly food budget and racking up a surprising amount of dollars kept in your pocket at the end of the month!
- Buy generic. Ever notice how much cheaper generic is vs brand name? It can be as much as 50%, in some cases. Brand loyalty hits you where you’ve been noticing it, and switching to generic, at least for some things, will certainly make a difference!
- Use more frozen fruits and vegetables over fresh. Fresh is always nice, especially if you can buy it local and on sale. However, that’s not always possible, and so buying frozen produce is sometimes an even better choice for several reasons.
- It doesn’t spoil quickly, so you cut down on food waste.
- Oftentimes, you can get it in larger quantities, so even if you don’t use the whole bag for one meal, you refreeze for later use.
- Finally, frozen is much cheaper than fresh, so to the point of healthy eating and not breaking the bank, there’s that too. Also, washing, chopping, peeling? Already done for you!
These are 13 tried and true ways to eat healthy, while not breaking the bank. Think about why you want to eat healthy in the first place and that will give you more of a reason to stay committed and stick to it. Choosing to eat healthfully means that you’re also investing in your health, perhaps saving you lots of money in the future. Choosing to care for your health pays off, and you’re worth it. Always choose you and your health. You’ve got this!
Id love to hear your ideas on healthy eating in a budget conscious fashion! Leave me a comment 😊