When you’re on a tight budget, eating healthy can seem impossible. Fresh, organic foods have much higher price tags than cheap prepackaged foods, but those convenience items aren’t exactly nutritious. Fortunately, you can eat fresh, well-rounded meals without overspending, and still can enjoy the beauty benefits of such foods. Find out how to eat healthy on a budget by learning where to shop, what to buy, and how to create a nutritious meal plan.
Shop and Save
If you always pick up groceries at the supermarket near your house or the one on the way home from work, take a minute to assess the prices. There’s a good chance that the supermarket, not the fresh food you want to buy, is overpriced. Check to see how the prices stack up against your local discount chain or your neighborhood farmers market.
Embrace Whole Foods
Prepackaged food might seem like a good idea when you’re hungry, but when you compare the cost of a few microwave meals to that of whole foods, the latter is almost always cheaper. Rather than making prepared or convenience foods a regular part of your diet, opt for whole grains and fresh produce instead. Buy in bulk when possible to cut down on costs.
Get Ready to Freeze
Fresh produce is usually best, as it’s packed with the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy. When buying fresh isn’t in your budget, though, opt for frozen produce instead. You won’t miss out on nutrients when you go with frozen, and your veggies or fruits keep much longer. If you stumble upon a great sale on fresh produce, think about buying extra and then freezing your veggies or fruits to enjoy later.
Create a Meal Plan for the Week
Before you head to the grocery store or the farmers market, make a meal plan for the week. Your meal plan should allow you to make as many healthy meals as possible without buying unnecessary food. If you’re short on time, set aside a few hours a week to cook in big batches. Then divide your meals into portions, and heat them up when meal time rolls around.
Keep Food Waste in Check
Aside from buying empty calories, nothing eats into your budget faster than wasting food. A solid meal plan helps prevent fresh food from going unused, and labeling the meals you store in the fridge or freezer goes a long way toward avoiding mystery meals that accumulate in the kitchen. Before your regular grocery shopping trip, take the time to go through your fridge to make sure you’ve eaten everything from the week before.
Skip Sugary Beverages
Whether you’re feeling hungry or you’re looking for a sugary boost, sweetened drinks might sound like a good choice. However, they’re filled with empty calories, which can ruin your healthy eating plan. Stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day, and skip the sugary beverages. Not only will drinking water save you money and help you perform better, but it can also help you feel full, even though it’s free from all those empty calories.
Following a healthy meal plan requires you to change your habits, but it’s possible, even on a budget. Keep these tips in mind as you shop, prep, and hydrate your way toward a healthier you.
Article Submitted By Community Writer