Eating a healthy diet can provide many physical and mental health benefits. Unfortunately, eating healthy often carries the perception of being expensive. With careful planning and budgeting, however, eating a healthier diet doesn’t need to be too costly. Below are five tips to get you started:
1. Prioritize Nutrient-Dense Foods
Nutrient-dense foods pack more nutritional bang for your buck when compared to processed or packaged foods. These are typically found in the outer aisles of the grocery store such as the produce, meat, and dairy sections. Examples of nutrient-dense foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, dairy products, and healthy fats.
2. Buy in Season
Buying fruits and vegetables in season is an awesome way to save money while still enjoying a healthy array of produce options. Sign up for a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box of seasonal produce or take a stroll through your local farmer’s market to find the best seasonal items. You can also find great discounts on frozen and canned fruits and vegetables. These are just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts and last much longer, offering more sustainability for your pocketbook.
3. Set Aside Time for Planning and Preparation
Meal planning and meal prepping can save you time and money. Planning a menu for the week ahead provides structure and will help you buy only what is necessary for the week, reducing your grocery bill. Meal prepping involves prepping meals for the week ahead. If you have time during the week, you can dedicate a few hours to cooking meals that can be kept in the refrigerator or freezer for the remaining days. This helps ensure you don’t find yourself grabbing unhealthy and costly take-out at the end of a long day.
4. Take Advantage of Store Deals, Discounts, and Resources
Most, if not all, grocery stores offer weekly discount coupons and store deals. You can also take advantage of resources like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) or WIC (Women, Infant, and Children program) to help you save money while still eating healthy foods. Additionally, some grocery stores offer loyalty programs and member discounts. Sign up to take advantage of these discounts and promotions to save on everyday purchases.
5. Get Creative with Leftovers and Bulk Foods
Buying in bulk, whether from the grocery store or a bulk food store, is a great way to get more for your money. If you can’t finish the food, use it for future meals or store in the freezer for later consumption. Freezing foods is also a great way to preserve their nutrition and texture while saving on cost. Just make sure the food is completely cooled and store away in an airtight container. You can also get creative with leftovers and turn them into a new meal. This is a great way to reduce food waste and save money.
Overall, eating healthy on a budget is possible. With creative planning and buying strategies, you can enjoy a healthy and sustainable diet without spending more of your hard-earned money.
What are some budget-friendly sources of healthy foods?
1. Frozen fruits and vegetables: These are usually cheaper than fresh produce and can provide just as many nutrients.
2. Dry beans and legumes: Buying beans and legumes in bulk can be a cost-effective way to get your protein and fiber.
3. Canned fish: Canned tuna, salmon, and sardines are usually much cheaper than their fresh counterparts, and are a great source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
4. Bulk grains: Buying grains like oats, quinoa, and brown rice in bulk can be a great way to save money and stock up on healthy, fiber-filled carbs.
5. Eggs: Eggs are packed with protein and other nutrients, but they’re also typically much cheaper than other animal proteins.
6. Frozen poultry: Frozen chickens, turkeys, and other poultry are generally much cheaper than fresh cuts.
7. Peanut butter: Peanut butter is a great source of healthy fats, and can be a good choice if you’re looking for a budget-friendly source of protein.
What are some healthy and inexpensive snacks?
1. Hummus and carrots
3. Apple slices with nut butter
4. Greek yogurt with granola and berries
5. Trail mix
6. Avocado toast
8. Celery with peanut butter
9. Kale chips
10. Roasted chickpeas
What snacks are good for diabetes?
There are a variety of snacks that are good for people with diabetes, including nuts, raw vegetables, low-fat Greek yogurt, boiled eggs, apple slices with nut butter, and half of a Turkish pita with nut butter or hummus. Additionally, high-fiber snacks such as raw carrots, popcorn, low-sugar dark chocolate, and dried fruit can help regulate blood sugar. It is also important to keep in mind that portion size is key, and it is best to avoid sugary treats.
What type of snacks should someone with diabetes avoid?
People with diabetes should avoid sugary snacks and foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol, such as cakes, pastries, ice cream, burgers, hot dogs, and French fries. They should also avoid processed snack foods, such as chips and crackers, which are often high in sodium and fat. Fruits and vegetables, nuts, and whole grains such as oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice are better choices.