Healthy eating and healthy living go hand in hand. Many people think that to eat healthy you must have a big budget. This is not the case at all. Today’s society is not geared for healthy eating. It is geared for fast living. This means fast foods and unhealthy foods. The good news is that even if money is tight, you can still eat healthy. It takes some planning and determination, but it is very possible. When it comes to our health, we must remember we will pay for it one way or the other. We will pay either before we get sick or after. And as the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” To that end, here are 7 tips to healthy eating on a tight budget.
- Look for the sales in different food stores and plan meals accordingly. Sometimes your favorite store will not have the best prices. Consider going to more than one store when you food shop. If your local store has a discount card, sign up. Also instead of shopping for food based on what you want to fix, consider fixing your meals based on what’s on sale. This can be a bit scary at first because it will force you to use the creative part of your mind, but with practice you will be doing it in no time flat.
- Buy fresh, seasonal produce in bulk and freeze what you can’t use right away. The frozen fruits and vegetable you buy in the store are just that, Frozen. Why pay for someone else to do what you can do. When you buy frozen fruits and vegetables, you are paying for the convenience, and it doesn’t come cheap. So buy in bulk and freeze what you can’t use right away.
- Invest in a good food saver machine. Food savers pull all the air out of the food saver bags which can dramatically increase the shelf life of fresh produce. You can be eating tomatoes well after the season has passed just by using one of these machines. And best of all, you won’t have to pay the high prices for out of season produce.
- Plan and prepare meals ahead of time. Planning what you want to eat for the week may be a challenge but it can save you major coin. Planning ahead will allow you to buy foods that you will actually eat and eliminate impulse buys. It will also ensure you eat what’s in the fridge so you will waste less food. This is a great step in healthy eating.
- Make Beans and Whole Grains your friends. The fiber contained in Whole Grains and Beans will fill you with less that white processed rice. Fiber helps the body feel fuller quicker and also regulates the release of sugar in the body. Adding more Whole Grains and Beans to your diet will cause you to eat less while feeling fuller longer. This will definitely save you money in the long run.
- Don’t throw away leftovers. Many people say they don’t like leftovers, but don’t realize how much leftovers they may be eating everyday. That “Today’s Special” in most restaurants are made up of leftover foods that they can’t serve as is. They re-purpose it to be something else and people, (for lack of a better way of putting it) eat it up. Do the same thing at home. Re-purpose your leftovers into something else and save money by not throwing it out.
- Go to Farmers Markets when buying produce. Farmers markets offer far better deals on fruits and vegetables than super markets do. You can also get bigger discounts on produce that are perfectly edible and great tasting, but are starting to get over ripe. Try to find a Farmers market near where you live and shop there instead.
If you follow these 7 steps, you will be well on your way to healthy eating on a tight budget. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive, it just takes a bit of out-of-the-box thinking. This week try a few of these suggestions and let us know how it goes by leaving comments below, or leave us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember don’t just eat, Eat Well.