How to Eat Healthy on a Budget
Sometimes in life money can be tight. So can our jeans. Good NEWS! You don't have to break the bank to eat healthy. Eating right can be affordable, suitable, and nutritious. Here are seven tips and tricks to ensure your buttons and your budget don't bust!
- Buy Produce When It's in Season and Freeze It: Who doesn't love fresh produce? Buy plenty of it when it's in season, and stock up when you find a good deal. For example, buy dozens of ears of corn in the summer and freeze it for the winter months. Freezer bags are not expensive, and you can freeze corn in many ways. You'll be thanking yourself later when you bring out those golden kernels of goodness this winter. Plus, it will still taste great, and you'll be putting more money in your pocket. The same goes for other vegetables as well! Also, try checking out your local Farmer's Market near the end of the day, when their produce is on sale.
- Look for Deals: Does your local grocery store offer a savings card? If so, sign up now! Check weekly to see what's on sale. Consider planning your meals around whatever poultry, product, or produce has a discount. This can not only save you money but help you to get creative in the kitchen and try new dishes and recipes.
- Try Less Expensive Cuts of Meat: You know what's a big miss-steak? Deciding not to try less expensive cuts of meat! For the meat lovers out there, you can still satisfy your carnivore needs. How? Look for cuts of meat such as chicken thighs instead of breasts. You can even try different methods of cooking. Invest in a slow cooker to make tougher meat, tender and juicy. Leave it in the crockpot while you're at work and come home to a quick, simple, and delicious meal. Bon appetite!
- Whole Grains and Beans are Your New Best Friend: Beans, beans, the magical fruit. They're inexpensive, a great way to bulk up your meals, and can be quite filling. Black beans are great to stretch your protein and are a delicious add-in when making that chili recipe that has been passed down from generations. Another great food to thicken your wallet is whole grains! Have you tried quinoa? Yeah, that one food your mother could never pronounce correctly. Quinoa, freekeh, and brown rice are all inexpensive and best of all, tasty. Whole grains can also keep you full longer and can help you lose weight.
- Plan and Prep Meals Ahead of Time: Whether it's fruits and veggies you are going to eat that week, tomorrow's breakfast, lunch, and dinner, prepping your meals in advance is a great strategy towards eating healthier. Also, eating everything that's in the fridge, so nothing goes to waste is a good plan to help save you money. Try to prepare your meals on Sunday so you can create dishes for each day. With just one night of cooking, you can create meals for the entire week; store them in containers in the fridge, saving you time and most importantly - moolah.
- Make A Grocery List and Stick to It: Always, always, always make a grocery list prior to going to the store and stick to it. This way you aren't getting off track and purchasing items you don't need. Impulse buys tend to always drive up the grocery bill! Write down all the fruits, veggies, and proteins you need for the upcoming week. This will help you to eat healthier, all the while keeping you on a budget.
- Keep Track of How Much You're Spending: While at the grocery store, an easy and helpful tip is to use your phone calculator to keep track of how much you are spending while shopping. Set a price limit for yourself and use your calculator to keep track of everything you purchase. This will help you budget and not go over your weekly or monthly budget.
When it comes to your meals, they don't have to be costly or complicated. By following these tips and tricks, you can eat healthy on a tight budget and find even more rewards at the end in a new healthier you!