Tips for Healthy Eating on a Budget

Whether you have limited time to grocery shop, are working with a tight budget, or have a growing family to feed, it’s easy to find reasons to avoid healthy eating. Additionally, it’s challenging to change our long-established lifestyle and eating habits. However, with just a few simple life changes, you may find your body and your budget are in a healthier place. Read below to learn more about building a healthy diet for you and your family on a budget. 

Plan Your Meals

Meal prepping has become increasingly popular–and for good reason! This trend has more benefits than just saving you a few minutes as you get ready in the morning. Planning your meals for a week at a time can help you budget more effectively and make meals that are delicious, nutritious, and inexpensive. Meal prepping involves creating a grocery list that includes everything you need for a week’s worth of meals and considers how much you can spend on food. Rather than just eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every night or resorting to a trip to the drive-thru, this little bit of work before you head to the grocery store is the key to enjoying healthy, delicious meals throughout the week. If you find yourself running low on time during the week, be sure to meal prep over the weekend, so you have nutritious, ready-made meals whenever you need them.

Shop Smarter at the Grocery

Although carefully planning your meals is one of the first steps towards healthy eating on a budget, your forethought can go to waste if you don’t follow through at the grocery store. Every aisle at the supermarket gives you the opportunity to find healthy and cost-efficient foods that can make the most of your meal times and your budget. In the produce section of the grocery, shoppers can usually save a few bucks by picking in-season fruits and vegetables that are not prepackaged. Additionally, you don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy some cost-effective, non-meat protein options, including beans, peas, lentils, and eggs. These alternatives are often low in fat, high in protein, and cheaper than meat. For kitchen staples, like bread and milk, look for whole-grain loaves of bread and fat-free or low-fat gallons of milk, as these are packed with ideal nutrients and are usually the same price as less healthy alternatives like white bread and whole milk. As you rove the grocery, try to skip the chip and cookie aisles so you won’t be tempted by these low-cost, sugary sources of empty calories.

Budgeting pros also know that there are a few grocery hacks that can save you money and time spent shopping. Many grocery stores offer generic or store brand products that are often less expensive than name brands, so stay on the lookout for discounted generic products. Finally, whether you shop at bulk grocery stores or go for the family pack at your local supermarket, buying food in bulk often gives shoppers a better unit price, meaning you get more bang for your buck. 

Limit Eating Out

Planning your meals and grocery shopping like a pro are both strategies that help individuals avoid one of the biggest drains on our budget and health–eating out. Eating out can be cheap if you go to a fast-food chain and can be healthy if you try a new health food restaurant. However, eating out rarely offers a well-rounded meal that is also inexpensive. Whether you have a well-prepared meal waiting for you at home or if you need to get a little creative with what’s left in your pantry, limiting the number of times you eat out during the week can go a long way for your health and your wallet. 

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Tips for Healthy Eating on a Budget

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