There are many individuals who want to eat healthier but this saying ‘eating healthy is too expensive’ hold them to back to in achieving that goal. I am guilty of saying this a whole lotta time. If I should think when was the last time I told someone that eating healthy can be difficult, it would be last month. And that’s why I decide to write this post to help others eat healthy on a budget.
My real life experience was recently when I decided to go on a Daniel Fast to get closer to God and detoxing my body. This fasting entails of eating mainly fruits, vegetables, and nuts. If you would love to try out a fasting to lose weight check out Intermittent Fasting. But anyways, I told my mom to get some grocery for the first week of this fasting that I am doing and to my utmost surprise, it went over $100. I only got a small amount of grocery. I don’t know if that sounds cheap but in 3 weeks I spend an approximate of $350-$400 and groceries are not included for the rest of my family.
I remember saying to myself, it’s really true that eating healthy or any diet is expensive. But I came to believe it’s a lie. Eating healthy is possible on a budget. Changing your diet is possible. If you’re interested in budgeting on diet or eating healthy on a budget then this post is for you.
Here are the best ways to eat healthy on a budget:
Rule 1: Meal Plan For All Of Your Meals
Meal planning is necessary when eating healthy on a budget because you don’t want to buy unnecessary food items. Without meal planning, you’ll find yourself going to the grocery store more than once. Meal planning is about deciding what you’ll eat beforehand. For instance, overnight oats for breakfast or nuts for snacking. To learn more about how to meal prep go here.
Rule 2: Buy Veggies and Fruits that are Affordable
Without fruits and veggies in your diet, you’re not eating healthy. There are some vegetables that are a must in your kitchen. Here are some veggies to buy on a budget: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots, Spinach, Squash, Cabbage etc.
When you’re buying veggies you shop with diversity in mind and the cost per pound. For instance, in my experience cabbage will be more diverse and cheaper when meal prepping than a romaine lettuce. Why? The romaine lettuce started to wither if not used quickly, not much meal option and doesn’t taste fresh again after some days. But the cabbage never fails. With the cabbage, I made soup, salad, roasted cabbage, stir-fry, and sauteed cabbage etc.
Here are some budget-friendly fruits that you can buy on a budget:
Question: Does Eating Healthy means buying everything Organic?
If your budget can handle buying everything organic then go ahead. But if you don’t have a lot of money then this idea might be hard to conceive especially if you’re living paycheck to paycheck.
Check out these foods that you must always buy organic because they are easily contaminated with pesticide residues:
- Sweet bell peppers
Rule 3: Buy In Bulk when Necessary
Buying in bulk can be addictive and allow you to go way over your budget. When buying in bulk only buy non-perishable food items. What I recommend is if you’re planning to eat healthy on a budget then you would need to buy food items that are used often in your kitchen. Additionally, don’t buy everything in bulk at once buy rather some food items this month and the rest the following month.
Here are some healthy food items to buy in bulk when on a budget:
- Frozen Meat
Rule 4: Ensure Everyone Eat What You Buys
If you are planning to eat healthily then get your family on board. You don’t want to be shopping for your family plus you (an additional person). This can be pretty costly, and time-consuming. This shouldn’t be the case! Instead, buy foods that are healthy that your family will love. For example, you decided to go low carb but your kids love when you bake cookies. You wouldn’t deprive them of that because you’re trying to eat healthier? But rather you’ll replace the all-purpose flour with Almond flour and bake an almond chocolate chip cookies. It’s that simple!
Rule 5: Carry a List & Stop Overbuying
When shopping, don’t buy unnecessary items. Eliminate anything that will only be used once then left to be spoiled. Ensure that before you go shopping you create a list of foods you’re going to buy with the help of meal prepping and the amount of money you plan to spend.
Don’t let brand name fool you; many times when buying something, you’ll see three similar items but different prices. Usually, we decide to go ahead with a well-known brand. Of recent, I found out there’s not much difference when buying generic food items. The only precaution is to check the label to ensure there’s nothing that’s harmful to your health.
Rule 6: Make Budget-Friendly Meals
When you’re meal prepping you need to think about some meals that are budget friendly. For example, one sheet pan meals, crockpot meals, and casseroles etc. Focus on healthy budget-friendly meals that your whole family will love.
Rule 7: Buy Frozen Vegetables
When vegetables are not in season it’s better to buy them frozen. It’s also best to buy frozen over canned vegetable because the canned fruits and vegetables lose a lot of their nutrients. Research says, that frozen vegetables may be filled with more nutrients than off-season vegetables and fruits. The amazing thing about frozen vegetables and fruits is that it’s picked when it’s ripe and then blanched in hot water to killed bacteria and to helped it from spoiling by stopping enzyme.
Rule 8: Stop Going To Restaurant
Stop going to restaurants and buying food because this will interrupt with you eating healthy on a budget and allow you to spend more. If you meal prepped properly then you will not have much problem. Just look for an easy and healthy meal to prepare when you don’t have much time to cook.
Rule 9: Use Coupon Code and Look For Discounts
Look for discount or sale of food items in weekly flyers or newspaper and shop wisely.
I believe it’s possible to eat healthy on a budget even though it sounds hard to do. The best thing one can do is to shop wisely and meal prep along the way. Whether you’re living paycheck to paycheck you can still eat healthy on a budget if you follow the rules I listed above. The first step to being successful with eating healthy the frugal way is to define healthy eating. For some eating healthy is to eat whole food or to go on a diet. Whichever is the case, these rules can help you eat healthy on a budget.
Learn more about meal prepping here.
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