Just because you want to save money does not mean that you have to skip out eating healthy. There are plenty of ways that you can be frugal and still eat whole, green, and healthful foods at home.
We put together these five tips to help you eat better while on a budget. Let’s get started!
1. Purchase Whole Foods
It seems like healthier food is more expensive than junk food. However, when foods are less processed, they often cost less.
For instance, a can of beans costs less than refried ones, and a cheese block is less than a bag of shredded cheese. Brown rice, oats, and whole grains are also much cheaper than processed cereals. A head of lettuce will stay fresh longer than a bag of premade salad and has a lower price tag.
Whole foods are sold in larger amounts and will get you more servings per purchase as well. If you buy whole green foods, you may be saving money and getting more. Plus, you can use whole foods in a wider variety of recipes.
By eating less processed foods, your body will thank you. It also does not have to be hard on your budget.
2. Buy Less Junk Food
You do not have to stop buying junk food entirely, but you may be surprised to find out how much you are paying for it. Soda, processed foods, chips, and cookies are expensive. They also do not give your body much nutrition but are packed with empty calories.
Prepackaged or frozen meals are not much better for you. If you often find yourself microwaving your dinner, you could benefit from following a meal plan. You would cook your food in advance and store it for some of your meals throughout the week. This process makes it a lot easier to avoid a heavily processed meal come dinner time.
In short, junk food is expensive. The packaging makes a lot of waste; it is costly and has little to no nutritional content.
3. Replace Meat
A lot of meat and fish can be expensive. If you cut back on the amount you buy, you will save a fair amount of money each week. Alternative sources of protein often cost way less. For example, you could try cooking with more eggs, legumes, seeds, nuts, or dairy.
Many meat alternatives are inexpensive and packed with protein. Plus, they will not go bad for a long time, making them great if you need to stock up on food.
There are many healthy protein alternatives to meat that cost a lot less. If you do not want to give up meat and fish completely, substituting these alternatives for some of your meals and buying less meat will still save you money in the long run.
4. Use Frozen Fruits and Veggies
Of course, you will want to buy in-season fresh fruits and vegetables whenever you can, as they are very healthy. However, they can get a little pricey. Some foods are also only in-season for a few months at a time.
You can buy some frozen produce. While it may not seem healthy at first, frozen fruits and vegetables are cheaper, always available, have the same nutrition content as fresh, and are sold in high amounts. You can use your frozen produce to make smoothies, add-ins to yogurt or oatmeal, and cook healthy meals.
You will save money and reduce how much produce you throw away since you only need to take out what you will use. What you do not need right away stays safe in the freezer.
5. Make a Grocery List
Before you go shopping, always prepare your grocery list. Make sure that it is full of healthful foods that will last until your next shopping trip. When you grocery shop without a plan, it is easier to buy more than you need–while forgetting some essential items.
Making a list also makes it a lot easier to stay within your grocery budget. You will not go too overboard, even if you find an extra item or two that you need.
You can still eat healthy on a budget. Take some time to plan your meals, grocery list, and choose healthier alternatives to the foods you usually buy. You will notice you start saving more money than you may expect.