There’s actually no extraordinary formula to eating on a budget. Similar to everything else, it requires a bit of planning and good old-fashioned effort. Of course, the rewards are less spending and most importantly, better health!
We understand that there would still be days when you go back to your habit of eating packaged fast food. However, if you are able to adhere to some lifestyle changes, you’ll find yourself pleased with the result.
Now, let’s help you with some amazing tips on how to eat healthy on a budget.
Plan Your Meal Ahead
The intention to plan your meals begins with making a list so don’t keep falling into the habit of making the wrong food choices just because they’re easy and quick. For instance, create a shopping list for all the meals you’ll prepare for a week. Buy only what you need so that nothing goes to waste and avoid the temptation to throw in random items into your shopping cart. After shopping, spend some time in slicing or prepping your fruits and vegetables as well as refrigerate them in containers.
So it’s time– take a few minutes to draw up a list of your meals for the week and ensure you stick to it.
Cut Down on Eating Out
Eating out, especially dinners, can contribute to weight gain and does your bank account no good, either. So, as much as possible, try to eat at home and take your own lunch to work. In fact, less dining out may mean fewer calories as well.
Make Your Own Nut Butter
We all know how expensive nut butter is. And if it is one of your favorite things, then you’ll be losing some hard cash too often, too. So, to save some money, buy your nuts in large quantity and make your own homemade nut butter.
Buy Frozen Food
Although healthy fruits and vegetables are available in all seasons, the prices may vary based on the time of the year. For instance, if in December you’re craving strawberries, be rest assured they are going to be expensive. Frozen strawberries are just as healthy as the fresh ones. In fact, frozen food can still provide all the nutrients and even at a fraction of the cost.
Make Use of your Freezer
Do not underestimate or overlook the freezer in your kitchen. To save yourself a ton of money, find out what foods freeze well and freeze them before they go bad. To make things a lot easier, label all the food items have a complete breakdown of what you have on hand.
Eat More Plant-Based Foods
Of course, plant-based foods are delicious but they do not usually come cheap. So, it’s best to save some money by packing more healthy fats like avocado, inexpensive leafy veggies and high-fiber carbohydrate like quinoa on your plate.
In fact, as we stated earlier, eat healthy fats. These include plant-based whole foods such as avocados, nuts, olives, and seeds. You should also reduce the amount of processed fats and extracted oils used for cooking.
Do Not Throw Leftovers Away
Yes, do not toss those leftovers into the garbage. Instead, pack them in a container and eat them the next day. To make sure your leftovers always get eaten, have proper storage containers and can even roll up your leftover salad in a wrap or covert leftover veggies into a soup.
Buy in Season
Getting your fruits and vegetables when they are out of season, will most likely mean spending more than normally would. Out-of-season food items tend to carry the added cost of energy and transportation, so try to buy in-season food produce to enjoy the lowest prices and freeze them.
Stock Up During Sale Time
If you have enough room for storage, you can stock up on healthy foods during sale time. For instance, nuts are usually on sale during the holiday season. What more, they are rich in protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and much more. Interestingly, even the perishable foods can be frozen as well.
Buy in Bulk
We all know how buying in bulk can save us some money. Luckily, many health food stores have a bulk food section where you can stock up on organic foods such as spices and nuts without spending too much money. Bulk buying is also the way to go.
Pack Your Plate with Fiber
Did you know that fiber regulates blood sugar level, delays gastric emptying, reduces food cravings, and makes you feel full faster? The trick is to go for about two or three inexpensive, foods rich in fiber during every meal. Some good options include avocado, leafy greens, nuts, legumes, and seeds.
Have you ever considered buying your eggs, fruits, vegetables, and meats from local farmers? Well, you should try it out as local foods are generally cheaper and transportation costs are usually reduced.
After all said and done – remain organized! As a matter of fact, when your freezer, fridge, cupboard, pantry, and cupboards are well-organized, you are more likely to know just where everything is and avoid getting more stuff that is not needed.
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