5 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget
Eating healthy is hard enough for most Americans, and then factor in the dozens of fast food chains sprouting up on every corner with their convenient dollar menus. There’s no wonder why we are one of the most obese countries in the world. Choosing to live a healthy lifestyle can be very expensive since organic and fat free products tend to cost more. However, you can learn how to eat healthier without breaking the bank by following a few tips. Here are 5 tips for eating healthy on a budget.
Don’t shop on an empty stomach.
This is the first rule of thumb. Grocery shopping on an empty stomach is a surefire way to end up with loads of junk food and unnecessary items in your cart and pantry. And we all know what happens when we bring junk food into the house- it gets devoured first over any healthy substitute.
Do your homework.
Not everyone has a nutritionist’s mentality. Some people simply don’t know how to eat healthy, especially not on a budget. Start researching healthy meal recipes, nutritional values of certain grains, produce, seeds and proteins. (Did you know that kale is an inexpensive superfood, packed full of protein, vitamin K, C, and A, dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, and more?) Here’s a shopping list of cheap and healthy foods from WebMD to get you started.
Cut out the junk.
We probably don’t realize it, but most of us throw away money on junk. We take in empty calories with chips, crackers and sodas from the vending machine and each trip is $1-2. We also splurge on a $5 cup of coffee from Starbucks. The cost of these treats adds up quickly, and so do the calories. By planning a healthy snack (almonds, fruit, carrots, etc) and making your own coffee or switching to green tea, you can cut those costs and calories.
Eat lots of vegetables.
I know, produce can get expensive, but most supermarkets always have sales on produce. Stock up and freeze what you’re not using that week. Also, don’t be afraid to buy frozen vegetables which are cheaper and will last a lot longer, plus they are more nutritionally dense since they are picked and frozen at peak ripeness.
Meal prepping is a great way to eat healthier on a small budget. It allows you to make sure you’re eating everything in your fridge before it expires, and offers convenience. You can’t make excuses to order out, and you have a lunch prepared to go to work with you each morning. Most people meal prep on Sundays. Check out websites, blogs and apps dedicated to meal prepping.