Having a tight budget is often used as an excuse to eat unhealthy since junk food is less expensive. The problem that a lot of people face is that they think its impossible to buy and eat healthy food on a budget. And that is absolutely not true. It is very possible for everyone to be eating healthy on a budget.
You just need to know how to do so, and that’s where these tips for eating healthy on a budget will come in handy. With these tips you’ll find it is a lot easier than you think – you can include a variety of healthy foods in your diet without breaking the bank.
#1 Plan your meals
Meal planning is an important step in sticking to your budget. Use one day a week to sit down and carefully plan all of your meals for the entire week. You can look in your cupboards and fridge and plan meals around what you already have available to cut down on buying costs and wasting of food.
Once you have your meal plan ready, make a shopping list with all of the ingredients you need. A shopping list is a great way of keeping you from buying things you don’t need.
Meal planning also gives you time to compare the prices of different grocery stores with each other in order to find the best one for your budget. Alternatively you can look at food items on sale at your local grocery store and plan your meals accordingly.
How to meal plan
Okay so you now know that you need to plan your meals, but how do you do it?
Determine how many meals you need to plan
First up you need to know exactly how many meals to plan. If it is just for you then this should be easy. If you have a family you need to find out what their plans are and then plan the meals accordingly.
Choose the right meals and ingredients
Choose recipes and meals that not only taste good, but contain healthy ingredients. This is where you need to pick recipes that contain more healthy ingredients like choosing whole wheat bread instead of white bread. Also be mindful to use ingredients for more than one meal.
Use a template
This can make your life a whole lot easier. Use a template for all of the daily meals you cook each week, this way you can easily change things up and mix things around.
#2 Visit your local farmer’s market
The produce at a farmer’s markets is often times less expensive and tastier too! You should also make sure that you buy produce that is in season, if it is in season then there will be an abundance of it and therefore it will be less expensive.
Produce found at a a grocery store is often stored for several days and shipped in refrigerated trucks. The produce found a farmer’s market is fresh and often organic and non-GMO.
#3 Eat less meat
Meat is often times the most expensive part of a meal. By cutting meat out of a few meals per week you will cut down on grocery costs. You can also just reduce the portion sizes of the meat and try to stick to one type of meat per meal.
You can still get plenty of protein from other food sources other than meat, such as beans, lentils, spinach and even potatoes.
#4 Buy frozen
Frozen food can be an excellent money saver – you just have to buy the right kind of frozen food. Buying frozen is the way to go if you often let food go bad. Frozen produce are inexpensive, can last a longer time and will help with eating healthy on a budget.
You just need to read the packaging to make sure no sugar or salt was added and you are good to go.
#5 Cook larger portions
Cooking larger portions can go hand in hand with meal planning and prepping. Cooking larger portions of certain meals at the beginning of the week can save both time and money.
Cook enough of a meal so you can use the leftovers for lunches, dinners or in other recipes.
Remember that it is always better to go shopping when you already ate – being hungry while shopping often times lead to buying unhealthy food you don’t really need.
If you have any more tips for eating healthy on a budget feel free to let me know in the comments!