95% of people desire to eat a healthy diet. Still, many of us have trouble buying healthier foods due to their higher costs.
Yet, eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. Certain techniques can cut costs when consuming a balanced diet with nutrient-dense foods. This includes being conscious of your weekly spending habits and cooking at home more.
Read on to learn more about the top tips for how to eat healthy on a budget.
Master Your Meal Prepping Technique
Americans spend an annual average of $3,365 on takeout food and dining at restaurants. Planning to cook at home more helps to cut these costs down. It also makes it easier to focus on healthy recipes with whole ingredients.
Meal prepping is an ideal method for how to eat on a budget. It helps to save you time, money, and energy. It also helps those with busy schedules to eat healthy on the go.
Do this by planning meals out ahead of time and cooking in larger portions. Most people use Sundays to shop, cook, and prep meals for the week ahead.
Easy and healthy recipes include brown rice burrito bowls and protein boxes. Hearty soups and stews are also inexpensive and can last you a full week.
Make a grocery list based on your meals for the week. This way, you avoid buying junk food and unneeded groceries. You can also buy many ingredients in bulk to save money.
With meal prepping, you’re less likely to order takeout or dine at a restaurant. There is also less food waste as you can freeze any leftovers to enjoy later.
Go Meatless a Few Times a Week
Studies show that plant-based diets are the healthiest way to eat. They help to balance blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol levels. A vegetarian diet also lowers the risk of heart disease and obesity.
Going meatless with your meals is also a top way for how to eat cheap. Vegetables are much less expensive foods than buying poultry and meat.
You can find plenty of other sources of protein besides meat. This includes legumes, tofu, nuts, and eggs.
There are tons of delicious, easy, and affordable meatless meals to try. Make flavorful salads, veggie burgers, or broccoli-stuffed sweet potatoes.
Practice Smarter Grocery Shopping Habits
Rethinking your grocery spending habits will help you learn the cheapest way to eat. One way to do this is to buy grocery store brand products as they are less expensive. Many chains even have their own natural or organic line of products.
Another shopping tip is to avoid the snack aisles and freezer sections when possible. Processed snacks and frozen foods are full of preservatives and sodium.
It’s smart to always read ingredient labels as well. Marketing tactics printed on the packaging may try and tell you its food is healthy.
But the nutrition facts will always tell you the real truth. Be on the lookout for foods high in saturated fats, added sugar, and GMOs.
It’s also cheaper and healthier to make your own dressings and sauces. Swap out healthy recipes to try instead of buying bottled versions. Whole foods are often less expensive than pre-packaged options as well.
It’s best to never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. This encourages extra spending and filling your cart with unhealthy foods.
Join a Reward Program and Sign up for Emails
Joining a grocery store reward or loyalty program is helpful for eating on a budget. These are often free to join and gain you access to extra deals. Many stores also have online apps to make it easier to clip coupons.
Another tip is to sign up for your grocery store newsletter. This way you can get emails to help stay ahead of weekly sales.
Try to plan your meals around what items are on sale each week. Many grocery stores will offer good deals on salmon one week. Then cut prices on chicken or steak the next week.
It helps to be flexible in your meal planning to save the most amount of money. Be sure to stock up on your favorite products while they are on sale. You can also buy sale items then freeze them for later use.
Shop With the Seasons
You’ll often find better prices on produce that is in season. Seasonal availability changes by month and also depends on where you live. When buying fruit and veggies outside of the season, frozen options may be a cheaper option.
In the spring you’ll find avocados, carrots, pineapple, and mango. Summer is the peak season for berries, watermelon, peaches, broccoli, and cucumbers.
In fall, stock up on apples, pumpkins, grapes, potatoes, and cauliflower. Winter tends to have great availability on kale, turnips, and citrus fruits.
Farmer’s markets may also offer cheaper prices on fruits and veggies that are in season. This way, you’re also supporting local farmers and the community.
Build a Bountiful Garden
Gardening is a great idea when dieting on a budget. It’s easy to create your own backyard garden for growing fruits and vegetables. You can even make this a family-fun activity and have the kids help out as well.
Plant tomatoes, potatoes, berries, lettuce, cucumbers, and green beans. This can save you tons of money compared to buying these foods at the store.
You can also grow an herb garden. Herbs are healthy and great for seasoning foods and making dressings.
How to Eat Healthy on a Budget to Enhance Your Wellbeing
These tips offer the best advice on how to eat healthy on a budget. Cooking at home and planning out your weekly meals is a great way to save money. Certain grocery shopping habits will also help you stick to your healthy food budget.
Adding a supplement to your diet is another way to ensure you’re getting enough nutrients. These pack plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for better health and wellbeing. Here is our list of the best health supplements to try this year.