Eating healthy is important, however, it can be a challenge when managing budget constraints. Eating unhealthy foods can cost just as much (or more) than healthy options and can take a detrimental toll on your health over time. Fortunately, it is possible to eat healthy on a budget with the right guidance. Here are 7 secrets to help you do just that:
1. Shop in-season produce.
Buying produce in-season is always the best. Not only will it have the most flavor and be at its peak quality, it’ll likely be the most cost-effective too. There are several online resources available to check which produce is in-season at what times throughout the year.
2. Buy frozen produce.
Buying frozen produce is a great way to save money and still get healthy produce. Frozen fruits and vegetables will last longer and will save you from throwing out produce that has become unripe or too ripe.
3. Stick to whole meals.
Rather than buying processed or pre-made meals, purchasing whole foods allows you to stretch your dollar further and get more nourishment with fewer ingredients. Whole foods such as oats, beans, lentils and quinoa are all very nutrient dense and wallet-friendly.
4. Buy dry goods in bulk.
Buying in bulk is one of the more straightforward ways of saving money on food. Many bulk stores allow you to buy food products in larger quantities, which usually have the lowest per unit price.
5. Watch for sales.
Stock up on items when they are at their lowest prices, as this will help you save money in the long run. Watch for sales and promotional discounts and take advantage of them.
6. Look for store brands.
Items like canned vegetables, spices, sauces and cereals are all the same no matter which brand you buy. Buying store brands is always cheaper, so consider these items when looking for healthy, budget-friendly products.
7. Meal plan.
Planning meals in advance will help ensure that you’re only buying what’s necessary and that no food is going to waste. Always plan meals with the same ingredients, so that you get the most out of your grocery list, and use leftovers in creative ways.
Eating healthy and on a budget is possible. Effective grocery shopping is all about having the right plan and picking the right products. Implementing these 7 secrets can help you become a healthier and more budget-conscious shopper.
What are some tips for making healthy meals on a budget?
1. Plan ahead and make a grocery list to stick to so that you don’t overspend.
2. Consider flexible recipes and use any leftovers as lunches for the week.
3. Take advantage of sales and weekly specials.
4. Buy in bulk whenever possible.
5. Opt for lower cost and nutrient-rich food items such as frozen vegetables, canned beans and tuna, whole grains, dry legumes, and eggs.
6. Incorporate local, seasonal produce into your meals.
7. Skip pricey processed foods and opt for single-ingredient options.
8. Try growing some of your own food, such as tomatoes and herbs.
9. Buy frozen and canned seafood instead of fresh.
What are some cheap healthy meals to make?
1. Lentil Soup – Lentils are a great, cheap source of protein, fiber and iron. Plus, they’re incredibly easy to make—all you need is some lentils, onion, garlic, tomato, a couple of spices, some veggie broth and a little olive oil.
2. Quick Bean and Rice Burritos – Canned beans are a lifesaver when it comes to budget-friendly meals. Add some cooked brown rice, cumin, garlic and salsa and you’ve got a delicious and filling burrito in no time.
3. Quinoa Salad – Quinoa is a great source of protein, and it’s high in fiber too. Mix it with some chopped vegetables, olive oil, lemon juice, cumin and a little salt to make a simple and nutritious salad.
4. Pasta Primavera – Frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh, and they’re much cheaper. Stir-fry them with some garlic and olive oil, then add cooked spaghetti and some parmesan cheese for a easy meal.
5. Baked Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamins A, C and B6. Just bake them in the oven for about an hour and serve with some black beans and a little Greek yogurt for a tasty and healthy meal.
What are some easy healthy meals to make on a budget?
1. Vegetarian Chili: This budget-friendly vegetarian chili is packed with healthy beans, veggies, and spices. Serve it up with a side of cornbread or a green salad.
2. Bean and Veggie Burritos: Stuff a warm tortilla with black beans, shredded veggies, and your favorite salsa.
3. Stuffed Peppers: Stuff bell peppers with your favorite combination of veggies, herbs, and grains. Serve with a side salad or roasted potatoes.
4. Vegetable Soup: Simmer a variety of veggies with some broth and herbs to make a simple and healthy soup.
5. Baked Sweet Potatoes: Top a baked sweet potato with your favorite toppings, like chili, cheese, or black beans.
6. Potato Hash: Saute potatoes, peppers, and onions for a delicious hash. Serve with a fried egg and a side salad.
7. Veggie Fried Rice: Cook up some veggies and rice with a dash of soy sauce and spices.
8. Lentil Tacos: Whip up a batch of lentil tacos with your favorite ingredients.
9. Spaghetti Squash Bake: Combine cooked spaghetti squash, vegetables, spices, and cheese for a delicious bake.
10. Quinoa Bowls: Make a bowl with cooked quinoa, grilled vegetables, and your favorite dressing.