10 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget

You want to stick to a healthy diet, but the cost is getting to you.

Trust us, we get it.

Eating healthy can get expensive. Whether you’re on a tight budget or not, eating fresh product and quality meats can really cut into your funds.

Luckily, eating healthy doesn’t have to drain your wallet. Here are 10 tips that can help you eat healthy, even you are on a budget.

#1 Shop sales. If you frequent your local supermarket, be sure to check their weekly ads ahead of time. Look for meat and produce on sale, and plan your weekly menu around those items. Which leads to…

#2 Meal plan. Planning your weekly menu ahead of time not only lets you plan around the sales, it eliminates any last minute scrambling for dinner ideas. For many people, that last minute scrambling leads to turning to the easiest solution – buying take out.

#3 Look for less expensive meat. Swap chicken thighs for breasts in some recipes. Also, depending on your cooking methods, you can choose cheaper cuts of pork and beef. For example, using a slow cooker, tougher cuts of meat can come out tender.

#4 Buy raw ingredients. Skip packaged products and meals. It’s much cheaper to by ingredients and make things yourself. This includes snacks. You can easily make things like snack bars, muffins and beef jerky on your own.

#5 Keep your pantry and refrigerator organized. When you know what you have on hand, you can reduce the amount of food you waste and reduce the amount you purchase.

#6 Reuse leftovers. If you have too much leftovers, don’t let it go to waste. Instead repurpose them into something new. Add chicken, beef or pork to stews, soups and casseroles. If you really can’t think of anything to do with the leftovers and don’t want to eat them as is, freeze them for later.

#7 Shop the farmers’ markets … at the end of the day. I’m sure you’ve heard to buy produce at your local farmers’ market. And that’s great. But try to go at the end of the day. You may score some even better deals if you do.

#8 Shop at the ethnic markets. They may not have great deals on your meat or produce, but you may find some ingredients that you will not find elsewhere, helping you cook from scratch.

#9 Buy fresh and freeze. With all this fresh produce, make sure you don’t waste anything! If you’re not going to use it, freeze it. You can also consider buying in bulk when produce is in season and freezing it to use throughout the year.

#10 Do what you can. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be an all-in thing. Meaning you don’t have to buy all organic or local. Instead, make sure you are familiar with the Dirty Dozen. These are the top 12 produce items that are reported to have the most pesticides.

The Dirty Dozen includes:

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Imported grapes
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes

Among the least contaminated produce items are: onions, avocado, pineapples, mango, kiwi, broccoli and bananas. For a complete list go here.

Budget concerns is often a hurdle for those wanting to eat a healthier diet. Luckily, eating well doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Use these 10 tips to help you budget better and still eat well.

 

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