Many times, people assume that a healthier diet is more expensive. It is easy to see why. Convenience foods are not only easy to make, but also seem cheap as well. The truth is, you can enjoy a healthy diet for very little if you know how to shop. We shared with you recently How to shop at Whole Foods without spending your Whole Paycheck which is a great resource. Here are some tips for enjoying a healthy diet on a budget.
How to Eat Healthy on a Budget
Have a meatless meal every week. This will not only be healthy for you, as many doctors suggest we cut down on meat consumption, but you can save an average of 20-30 dollars a month by cutting out meat from meals just once per week. If you can do it, save even more by going meatless twice a week.
Fill up on whole grains. Grains such as oats, rice and barley are not expensive at all. In fact, they used to be considered peasant food! They still are very economical and you can get really creative with them by making soups, oatmeal and stir fry dishes. These whole grains are excellent for your heart!
Eat on smaller plates. This may seem like a silly tip, but studies have shown that if we eat off smaller plates, we trick our brains and stomachs into thinking we ate more than we did. Eating smaller portions is healthier and since you are eating less, it is great for your wallet.
Think outside the box when shopping for produce. You can get great deals on produce if you buy in bulk directly from the farmer, at co-ops and at farmer’s markets. Also, don’t discount the value of frozen vegetables and fruit. They are often much cheaper than fresh and they are just as nutritious. You can shop at Aldi for produce and price match the Aldi ad too! Don't forget Sam's Club too!
Shop for produce in season. You will always get a better deal if the fruits and vegetables you buy are in season. This may mean going without certain foods during certain off season times of the year, but you can save so much money this way and still get to try the season’s best offerings.
Learn to cook. This is obviously a more lengthy process that won’t work right away, but many people shy away from cooking simply because they don’t think they can do it. If you want to eat healthy and save yourself a lot of money, learning to cook is the most effective way to do this. If you have this skill, you can skip most expensive convenience foods and do it yourself at a fraction of the cost.
Meal plan. Making a meal plan is a great way to save money and is especially important if you are trying to eat healthier. You will be able to see what you will need to buy when you head to the store as well as plan for snacks and drinks as well. A meal plan will also help you see where you can use up produce so it doesn’t spoil before you get a chance to use it. It is a good idea to scour the ads from your favorite stores or hit up places like the farmer’s market first so you have an idea what is on sale before you plan out your menu. Since lots of healthier foods tend to spoil quicker, it is also a good idea to shop weekly rather than bi-weekly as well, if you are doing a healthier diet.