Does it seem like it’s incredibly expensive to switch to a healthier diet? Here are the tips you need to stay on budget while you enjoy healthy eating.
Get into the health food section of some stores, and you might notice how these food items tend to be a bit more expensive. So are you forced to spend big just to stay on a healthy diet? That’s not necessarily the case. Heed the following tips that can let you stay on a healthy diet while you still save money and keep your body away from heart disease or other health matters.
1. Plan Your Meals Each Week
You can do this on a lazy Sunday morning and plan what you’ll be eating for your healthy meals for the week. You can then make a grocery list of what you will need to buy. Of course, you should check out the contents of your fridge and kitchen cupboard to ascertain what supplies you still have. You may still have some food that’s still good and also good for you.
By making plans, you can then make sure that your meals are actually healthy. You can also save money by limiting your grocery purchases, portion sizes, to what you actually need. You won’t have to overbuy and then throw away food that you don’t need.
2. Buy Only What’s On Your Grocery List
This is a simple way to save money. You keep yourself from impulse purchase that cost money while they’re also often not all that healthy for you. This also helps you stick to your healthy eating habits. Make sure your list includes healthy fats with fewer calories – be sure to read all nutrition facts label. Here are a few items that should be on your grocery list for healthy eating: lean meats, quinoa, fresh fruit, whole wheat, brown rice, whole milk (or any dairy products), omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, and lots of veggies. Stay away from trans fats, and sugary drinks.
3. Prepare Large Meals Then Use the Leftovers
When you cook your own food, you can save money (and effort) by cooking large meals. You can just use the leftovers for your next meals. You can use them for burritos, stir-fries, and stews. Preparing large meals also keeps you ready for unexpected guests, and you won’t have to order out for expensive and unhealthy pizza.
4. Prepare Your Meals at Home
Eating out is a very easy way to increase your expenses. Remember that these places are there to make money, and that money comes out of your budget. The food you eat at home can cost up to 4 times as much when you eat the same things in a restaurant.
In addition, when you cook your own food you’re also sure of exactly what you’re eating.
5. Don’t Go to the Grocery Hungry
Shopping when hungry usually just results in impulsive buying, and often your hunger leads to poor food choices. To sate your hunger with some fruits, and when you’re no longer hungry you can go to the grocery.
6. Opt for Less Processed Food Items
Whole foods and other less processed food items are generally cheaper than their processed counterparts. You’re also often able to buy them in larger quantities.
7. Go with Generic Brands
Lots of food items are like medicines—the generic brands are just as good as the more expensive brands. After all, even the generic brands are required to follow FDA standards to make sure they’re safe.
8. Avoid Junk Food
That means keep your grocery list free from items like cookies, crackers, chips, and soda. You should also minimize your purchases of processed foods and prepackaged meals. Junk foods generally offer very little nutritional value, while they can be very expensive. But, if you have to get junk food, opt for healthy snacks; read all the food labels.
9. Stock Up When Items Are On Sale
When your staple food items are on sale, buy more of them. Just be sure that you can consume all of it before they expire.
10. Pick Less Expensive Cuts of Meat
These cheaper cuts of meat can still taste great when you use them for your stir-fries and burritos. You can also enjoy them with your stews, soups, and casseroles. These are the recipes that can give you big meals and plenty of leftovers
11. Eat Less Meat
Meat is so expensive these days that it makes sense that you eat less of it. You can still get your protein in less expensive ways with eggs, legumes, and beans. Canned fish also work, as they’re easy to prepare, have a long shelf life, and are very cheap.
12. Patronize Cheaper Food
Basically, when you’re faced with 2 similar options, you should go with the cheaper choice. Go with whole grains, eggs, cheaper cuts of meat, beans, seeds, and frozen veggies and fruit. These should be your new favorite foods so it doesn’t feel like you’re denying yourself
13. Buy in Bulk
You can buy grains in bulk, and they’re generally cheaper. You only need to store them in airtight containers to keep them from spoiling. You can then use them for different inexpensive and healthy dishes.
14. Grow Your Own Produce
Not everyone can do this, but if you have a green thumb, why not? Seeds are extremely cheap, and you can grow your own onions, tomatoes, and herbs. Your home-grown food items are also often tastier than the ones you bought from the store. A good idea to include some physical activities in your day.
15. Pack Your Meals
Just because you’re going out (such as to work) doesn’t mean you have to eat out for lunch. So pack your lunches instead. Hopefully, you’ve already made large dinners the night before and then you can just bring your leftovers to the office.
16. Try Coupons
Even celebrities like Kristen Bell and Sarah Michelle Gellar use coupons regularly. Carmelo Anthony uses coupons too. Of course, to make this work you should only use the coupons for the healthy food items.
17. Shop from Cheap Online Sellers
Online sellers are generally cheaper to buy from since the sellers don’t have to pay for labor, rent, and overhead. Some of these online retailers sell for prices that are half that of the prices in the grocery store!
18. Eat Local Produce That’s In Season
Fresh local produce offers more nutrients. They’re also cheaper than the imports from halfway around the world.
19. Go with Frozen Veggies and Fruits
Even cheaper than fresh local produce is the frozen products sold in large bags. You can use them for your smoothies or as toppings for your oatmeal. You can use only what you need from the bag and then return the bag in the freezer.
Check out these other healthy lifestyle ideas: 9 Superfoods to Help You Eat Healthy On a Budget