Eating Healthy While on a Budget

Many people believe that eating healthy while on a budget is not possible.   That is just not the case.  There are many ways to stay on your budget while eating healthy.  We will look at some strategies.

Healthy Ingredients 

First, buy healthy ingredients that will help you stick to your budget: (You will notice there are no packaged foods or snacks on the list.  They are both costly and unhealthy)

  • Grocery items:
    • Dried beans
    • Dried lentils
    • Oatmeal
    • Multigrain pasta
    • Brown rice
    • Quinoa
  • Vegetables:
    • Carrots
    • Celery
    • Onion
    • Spinach
    • Cabbage
    • Kale
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Broccoli
  • Dairy
    • Eggs
    • Cottage cheese
    • Low fat, plain Greet Yogurt
  • Fruits
    • Apples
    • Oranges
    • Bananas
  • Protein
    • Canned tuna
    • Chicken breast
    • Peanut butter

Strategies for Healthy Eating

Second, consider these 5 strategies for healthy eating on a budget.

  • Plan your meals

Take some time each week to develop a meal plan.  Look at your calendar, coordinate your meals with your activities, create a menu and grocery shopping list.  Plan also for leftovers. An example is when you bake chicken, make enough for two meals.  One meal you have the baked chicken and the second meal you have chicken tacos.

  • Shop for what is in season

Buy fresh fruits and vegetables when they are in season. Peaches, watermelon, grapes (etc.) are inexpensive during the summer months when they are in season and go up in price during the winter months.  During off season, it might be cheaper to by frozen berries for your smoothie instead of buying high priced fresh berries. You can also buy extra when it is in season. Buy red peppers, roast and chop them and store in the freezer.  You can then enjoy them year around in quiches, soups, etc.

  • Limit eating out

Eating out is costly and many times unhealthy. Planning ahead and eating at home will help your bottom line.  Leftovers are great for nights when you don’t feel like cooking.  Also, plan a couple extra meals at home that are quick to make. You can use one of these emergency meals instead of eating out.

  • Pack your lunch and snacks

Preparing your lunches and snacks takes time and planning but pays off in the long run.  It pays off not only in your bank account but pays off by being such a healthier choice.

  • Drink Water

Stop drinking so many calories.  Soda and fruit juices are full of sugar and are costly.  We all need water. Your goal is to drink half your body weight in oz of water a day. (You weigh 200 pounds, so half your body weight is 100 oz of water each day).

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