With the economic situation in the world being what it is, it’s important to find ways of eating healthy on a budget. It is entirely possible to purchase foods that are good for you and your budget; you just have to plan ahead to get the best food you can for the money you have available.
Creating a plan and sticking to it can help you get more food at less cost and allow you to prepare better, more healthy meals.
Here are some tips to help you succeed in eating healthy on a budget:
1. Set aside time to make your food plan. Find the sales ads for each of the grocery stores in your area and decide on your meals for the coming week ahead of time.
2. Make a list. After you’ve planned your meals, write down everything you need for each meal. Check your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator to see if you already have some of the items. Make your grocery list and stick with it!
- Make sure you include what you will need for drinks, snacks and desserts.
- Remember your ingredients for preparation, such as butter, flour, sugar, and spices.
3. Clip coupons for items you know you will use. Leave the rest of the coupons at home so you are not tempted to “save” money on items you don’t need.
4. Never go grocery shopping hungry because you are more likely to buy items that look good rather than those on your list. If you are not able to go to the store right after a meal than take a small snack with you to help you resist temptation while shopping.
5. Buy items on the perimeter of the store first because these items are the healthiest choices. This will include fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy items. The center items are processed or convenience foods. Not only are they more expensive, but they are not healthy.
6. Look for fruits and vegetables that are in season as these will often be cheaper than non-seasonal choices. While you’re looking at the fruits and vegetables, see if there are any sales on these healthy, nutrient rich foods. Choose large bags rather than individual pieces of fruit. The larger bags are usually cheaper by the pound. But make sure not to buy more than you will.
7. Buy store or generic brands. There usually isn’t much difference in the way the foods taste but you can definitely see a difference in the price.
A Few Other Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget
1. Make your own snacks for your time away from home rather than purchasing food from vending machines. Fresh fruit and vegetable sticks with dip are much healthier than the bags of chips or crackers that come from the machines.
2. Eat at home. Whenever possible, make your food from scratch and eat it at home. Not only will this give you more control over what you eat, but it can also save you a considerable amount of money. Eating out at restaurants also encourages overeating because the portion sizes are often massive.
3. Drink healthy. When eating healthy on a budget, don’t forget to think about what you’re drinking. Expensive, sugar-laden drinks are the bane of your budget and counter-productive to healthy eating. Drink water when you can. If you are buying juice look for 100% pure fruit juices. Also stick to low fat milk and make sure to stay away from all soft drinks.
If you follow these tips, you’ll soon discover the joys of healthy eating and you’ll save money in the process. You may have to spend some extra time preparing food, but the benefits are astounding!