Top 10 tips for eating healthy on a budget
Buying healthy food, when you are on a tight budget, can seem an impossible dream, but it is possible. You don’t have to pay health store prices to eat healthy; with a little planning and forethought, you can buy food that is good for you cheaply. Avoid the temptation to fill up on cheap, prepared convenience foods that are filled with salt, sugar and preservatives and shop wisely for fresh healthy foods instead, using our tips for eating healthy on a budget:
1. Make a plan
One of the easiest tips for eating healthy on a budget is – plan your shopping before you even step foot outside your door! Decide on what you need for the week ahead and stick to that list. This will help you avoid buying too much of something that’s only going to spoil, before you eat it and also avoid those compulsive purchases of what you really don’t need.
2. Be a smart shopper
Another simple tip for eating healthy on a budget is – aim to go shopping when you’re not hungry; you make more logical buying decisions that way. Look for the healthiest and cheapest option that you can find for each item on your list and sticking to isles that really need, will help to keep you from grabbing a snack on impulse.
3. Buy seasonal fresh food
Vary your diet with what’s in season, rather than sticking to same fruits and vegetables all year round. The big stores will import produce form far and wide to keep it in stock, but that means that the out of season produce is going to cost far more. If you have a local farmers market, then try buying there for cheaper, in season produce.
4. Check the volume, as well as the price
Always check the weight or volume of a pack of food, as well as the price. The lowest price of a packet doesn’t guarantee the best value for money. It’s the price per unit that counts, not the price per pack.
5. Make your own
Buying fresh food and making your own meals is far cheaper and healthier, than buying pre-prepared meals. A simple bag of potatoes, for example, can last you all week and can be used in so many different ways. Use your imagination (and internet); eating healthy on a budget doesn’t mean eating boring.
6. Look out for special offers
Always be on the lookout for special offers. Stores love things like ‘buy one get one free’, because it brings people into the store, just be careful though that you don’t get tempted to buy more than you can eat, before the food spoils.
7. Shop around
Different stores have different offers on different products, so it really does pay to shop around a bit. Don’t just visit your one regular store, check out several and find which one is selling the healthiest foods the cheapest.
8. Buy frozen
One of the biggest wastes of foods is buying more than you can eat. You can still get huge health benefits from frozen fruits, berries and vegetables, and often they are cheaper, than the fresh in the first place. Frozen vegetables are particularly useful, as you can just take what you need when you need it from the freezer.
9. Skip the brands
Another simple tip for eating healthy on a budget – don’t just buy the big brand names; you are paying for the name on the label, as much as you are for the contents. Many stores do their own ‘No frills’ products, which are just as good.
10. Make it a game
Searching out the healthiest and budget-friendly foods can be fun! Challenge yourself to buy more for less than you did last week. Eating healthy on a budget can become a pretty fun game!
Feel free to share other tips for eating healthy on a budget in the comment section below.
Stay happy and healthy!