With the economic situation in the world being what it is, it’s important to find ways of eating healthy on a budget. It’s possible to purchase foods that are good for you and your budget; you merely have to plan ahead to get the best food you can for the money you have available.
Having a plan and sticking to it can help you get more food at less cost and allow you to prepare better, more healthy meals.
Here are some tips to help you succeed in eating healthy on a budget:
1. Set aside time to make your food plan. Find the sales ads for each of the grocery stores in your area and decide on your meals for the coming week ahead of time.
2. Make a list. After you’ve planned your meals, write down everything you need for each meal. Check your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator to see if you already have some of the items. Make your grocery list and determine to stick with it!
Include what you’ll need for drinks, snacks and desserts.
Remember your ingredients for preparation, such as butter, flour, sugar, and spices.
Replenish cleaning supplies.
3. Clip coupons for items you know you’ll use. Leave the remainder of the coupons at home so you’re not tempted to “save” money on items you don’t need.
4. Never grocery shop without eating first because you’re going to buy more things on a whim.
If you can’t go to the store right after a meal, take along a light snack to help you resist temptation while in the store.
When you go to the grocery store hungry, it’s easy to make impulse decisions and buy foods that are not on your list. Carry a light snack with you so that when hunger strikes, you have something healthy to eat instead.
5. Buy items on the perimeter of the store first because these items are the healthiest choices. This will include fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy items. The center items are processed or convenience foods. Not only are they more expensive, but they aren’t healthy.
6. Look for fruits and vegetables that are in season as these will often be cheaper than non-seasonal choices. While you’re looking at the fruits and vegetables, see if there are any sales on these healthy, nutrient rich foods.
7. Buy store or generic brands. There usually isn’t much difference in the way the foods taste but you can definitely see a difference in the price.
Other Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget
When you and your family are traveling it is wiser to make snacks rather than allowing them to buy unhealthy options from vending machines. This way, you can focus on making healthier snacks like fruit and vegetable sticks with a healthy dip.
Eat at home
Whenever you can cook from scratch and eat at home, this will ensure you know the ingredients of the meal as well as save you considerable amounts of money.
Eating out also encourages overeating because portion sizes are massive. Eating out can be a great way to enjoy your favourite foods, but it can also lead to overeating. The reason for this is that the portion sizes served in restaurants are so massive, and many people go on autopilot when they start eating.
Finally, when eating healthy on a budget, don’t forget to think about what you’re drinking. Expensive, sugar-laden drinks are the bane of your budget and counter-productive to healthy eating.
The average American drinks 45 gallons of soda per year. That’s more than 500 cans of Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper and Sprite! The truth is, most Americans don’t realize how many empty calories they are consuming when they drink these sugary drinks.
Look for 100% pure juices.
Drink low fat milk.
Drink more water.
Cut out soft drinks.
If you follow these tips, you’ll soon discover the joys of healthy eating and you’ll save money in the process. You may have to spend some extra time preparing food, but the benefits are astounding!
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