Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget

May 03, 2015 by Kathy Nellor

In our on-the-go world and the temptation of cheap fast food around every street corner, eating healthy can be a major challenge, even if doing so comes with multiple health benefits. While eating fast food might seem more affordable in the short term, eating nutritious food certainly doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are some tips for eating healthy and keeping your budget in check.

Budget and plan out your week

We’ve all been there: Walking through the grocery store on an empty stomach, shoving everything in sight into the cart. But shopping while not hungry, plus a plan in mind, can help prevent you from overspending and buying unhealthy items. An hour or two before heading to the grocery store, sit down, create a budget and make a list of groceries you’ll need for the week. When planning, search for recipes online while cross-checking them with your store’s weekly fliers to see what’s on sale. When you go the store, avoid temptation by staying out of the aisles that don’t include items on your list.

Buy in season and in bulk

When making your grocery list, consider the fruits and vegetables that are currently in season. Seasonal produce is usually plentiful and less expensive than produce that isn’t in season. Avoid already sliced and prepared fruits and vegetables, which may be more convenient, but also are often more expensive. When shopping, consider what you buy often and buy in bulk. If an item you eat frequently is on sale, like chicken or ground turkey, consider buying more than you need for the week, and freeze what you don’t use.

Prepare meals ahead of time

Preparing ahead of time can help stop you from making unhealthy food choices in a rush. Set aside one day a week to prepare your meals in advance. This will ensure you’ll have healthy meals waiting in the fridge and help save time during the week. When searching for meals to prepare, look for recipes such as stews or casseroles to make the fresh, healthy ingredients you’ve purchased stretch further. When cooking over the weekend, try doubling the recipe and freezing individual-portion sizes for weekday lunches or dinners.

Grow your own

If you have the space, starting a garden of your own can be a great way to save money. Seeds or small plants cost just a few dollars and produce vegetables all season long. By having nutritious options in your own backyard, this will help ensure healthy eating. Plus, is there anything more rewarding than preparing food you’ve grown on your own?

 

Tags:  nutrition, meal preparation, garden, budget healthy eating