I seems like every time I go to the grocery store recently, the total bill gets higher and higher! Yikes! I am not sure if you are seeing the same thing at your local store this spring, but I do hear that it is widespread. In order to continue living a healthy lifestyle, it’s important to find ways of eating healthy on a budget.
It’s possible to purchase foods that are good for you and your budget; you merely have to plan ahead to get the best food you can for the money you have available. Having a plan and sticking to it can help you get more food at less cost and allow you to prepare better, more healthy meals.
Here are some tips to help you succeed in eating healthy on a budget:
- Set aside time to make your food plan. Find the sales ads for each of the grocery stores in your area and decide on your meals for the coming week ahead of time.
- Check out Apps for Saving. Many stores have apps that make it easy to find the best deals with digital coupons. Just for You with Safeway and Albertsons is just one way to find digital coupons. Ibotta is another app that lets you earn cash back every time you are grocery shopping. But don’t buy items simply because they are on sale. Only buy them if you need them!
- Make a list. After you’ve planned your meals, write down everything you need for each meal. Check your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator to see if you already have some of the items. Make your grocery list and determine to stick with it!
- Never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach because you’re more likely to buy items that look good rather than those on your list.
- Buy items on the perimeter of the store first because these items are the healthiest choices. This will include fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy items. The center items are processed or convenience foods. Not only are they more expensive, they aren’t healthy. Stay away from processed foods.
- Look for fruits and vegetables that are in season as these will often be cheaper than non-seasonal choices. While you’re looking at the fruits and vegetables, see if there are any sales on these healthy, nutrient rich foods.
- Choose large bags rather than individual pieces of fruit. The larger bags are often cheaper by the pound.
- Buy store or generic brands. There usually isn’t much difference in the way the foods taste but you can definitely see a difference in the price.
Other Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget
- Make your own snacks for your family’s time away from home rather than allowing them to purchase food from vending machines. Fresh fruit and vegetable sticks with dip are much healthier than the bags of chips or crackers that come from the machines.
- Eat at home. Whenever possible, make your food from scratch and eat it at home. Not only will this give you more control over what your family eats, but it can also save you a considerable amount of money.
- Eating out also encourages overeating because portion sizes are massive.
- Drink healthy. Finally, when eating healthy on a budget, don’t forget to think about what you’re drinking. Expensive, sugar-laden drinks are the bane of your budget and counter-productive to healthy eating. Keep it simple and drink more water and cut out soft drinks.
- Don’t waste food. Use leftovers for snack and lunches and don’t overbuy food when you are shopping. If you find yourself with food items that are not being used in a timely manner – freeze it for later use.
If you follow these tips, you’ll soon discover the joys of healthy eating and you’ll save money in the process. You may have to spend some extra time preparing food, but the benefits are astounding!
Some of my favorite budget friendly recipes:
What are some of your favorite healthy budget meals? I’d love to hear!