Eating Healthy on a Budget: 3 Money-Saving Strategies
When you look at the cost of whole, healthy foods compared to cheap, processed foods, it can seem like eating healthy on a budget is nearly impossible. However, if you are willing to put in a little effort ahead of time, you can easily stick to your budget AND eat healthy. Below are three good ways to help you do that: Healthy Eating Budget Tip #1 - Plan Ahead
Before you go shopping, put together some meal plans for the next week or two, and make a list of ingredients you need to make them. Then hop online and visit the websites of the major supermarkets in your area. Most of the bigger chains now post their weekly sales flyers right online so you can compare prices before you ever leave your home.
If you happen to notice a great sale on something you didn’t plan to make, you can always adjust your menu plans to take advantage of the sale and make a few meals to include that item.
Healthy Eating Budget Tip #2 - Bulk Up
When you see a fantastic price on meat or produce, take advantage of it. Buy two or three times more than you need, keep out a portion to cook immediately, and freeze the rest to be used the following week.
There are also large warehouse stores with affordable yearly memberships that allow you to buy bulk amounts of foods you eat regularly. If their prices are really good and you have the space to store the extra food, you can save quite a bit of money shopping that way.
You can also apply this “bulk” concept to the way you prepare and cook meals. Rather than cooking each meal from scratch daily, you can cook the foods you bought in bulk and create some ready-to-heat-and-eat meals to keep in the freezer. During the week just take them out of the freezer and pop them in the oven or microwave.
Healthy Eating Budget Tip #3 - Go Straight to the Source
During the warmer months of the year, you can get some amazing deals on local produce. Visit farmer’s markets and roadside fruit and vegetable stands a few times a week. If their prices are good, stock up on the healthy foods you and your family eat a lot. Again, you can always freeze extras. Summer vegetables can easily be chopped, frozen and added to hearty soups and stews when the cooler weather arrives. Fresh fruit can be chunked and frozen in small servings to make smoothies or topping for ice cream and yogurt.
Eating healthy on a budget doesn’t have to be difficult. Simply by planning ahead and getting creative with shopping and food preparation you can save a lot of money and still stick to a healthy eating plan.