The stats of obesity is quite sobering as more than two-thirds of the population in America are overweight. This means that one child among three is obese. Also, there is no decline in the stats at all, and it keeps increasing over time.
However, there is a slight ray of hope as people are becoming aware and are trying to orient themselves in healthy living and eating. A healthier lifestyle is now a desperate need around the world as obesity is becoming the core issue of endless health troubles these days.
The so-called modern world is turning into a cave of illness with every other person having heart, liver, gut or other life-threatening issues.
So eating healthy should be the most important part of your daily life. Healthy foods can be costly as you have to make organic choices. For most people, we try to plan our meals as best as we can while maintaining our budget.
Food prices in 2019 will increase anywhere from 1% – 4% according to data from the US Department of Agriculture. So eating healthy on a budget might seem impossible, but it isn’t. Yes, it is a little tough, but if you manage things properly, you can get a lot of great healthy food within a budget too.
Here, we have summed up some easy to use tips and have compiled a comprehensive guide on eating healthy on a budget. Note these little tips or steps in your life and you will see that healthy living and healthy eating is not that expensive if you act a little smart and plan wisely too.
10 Ways to Eating Healthy on a Budget
Whether you are on a budget or not, these tips are going to help you save some bucks and manage your healthy living smartly as well. Let’s get into exploring ten ways of eating healthy on a budget!
- Buy Fresh:
Buy fresh fruits & veggies whenever possible. Most Americans don’t get enough fruits & veggies. Fresh fruits and veggies are inexpensive, especially when in season.
Farmers’ markets are a great source of locally grown inexpensive fresh produce. Depending upon where you live and what time of year it is you can also grow your own produce.
Beans don’t cost you much but are an excellent resource for nutrients, minerals, and required vitamins. Beans, pulses, legumes, and lentils are all great sources for eating healthy foods. You can also invest in them in bulk as they are easy to store for a long time too.
- Buy in Bulk:
The second essential tip to inculcate in your healthy living is to buy things in bulk. This will definitely save you money in the long run.
A lot of people assume that buying in bulk makes them invest a lot more than they should. But if you break everything down into servings; you will see that these food items will last longer and are saving you a lot more than you think.
If you have a wholesale club near you consider buying certain items in bulk. You may also want to consider purchasing store brands instead of name brands, store brands usually cost less and are just as good.
- Shop Smart:
Don’t ditch the wholesale store, ever! If you are buying in bulk, a wholesale store is going to save you a lot more than you planned. Also, if you have a local farmers’ market nearby; opt for that. Be smart while you shop for your healthy foods on a budget.
However, wholesale stores are now growing massively and are including a lot more wonderful options in organic food items. Thus, there is nothing really to worry about.
One of the things you can do when on a budget is cut back on the number of drinks you purchase. Sodas, whether in a bottle or a can, are unhealthy and expensive. So are many juices you find in the grocery store, they are loaded with sugars and artificial sweeteners.
We recommend purchasing a good quality water filter and refilling your old bottles at home. This is also a great option if you enjoy drinking tea.
- Plan Your Meals:
Planning your meals not only saves you time but also money. If you have sorted out what meals you will be eating throughout the month or the next two weeks, you can get those food items in bulk and prep your meals beforehand.
This way, you can freeze them and eat whenever you want. Also, if you are following a strict healthy diet, then you might be sticking to some specific meals, and this will certainly be saving you money.
- Make Your Food at Home:
Healthy foods get costly when you try to get a prepared meal from outside. Healthy diet foods or meals are extremely costly and restaurants who offer them charge higher than normal options.
Therefore, if you are trying to eat healthy on a budget, then you should try to make your meals at home. Don’t try to look for “prepared” healthy foods as they are going to cost you a lot. Prep your meals at home over the weekend and store them; simple! Saves you both time and money; isn’t that great?
The first and basic key to healthy eating is to clean out your pantry and throw away all the items that are processed or are not healthy. This way, you can make space for all the things that must be there.
Make larger meals for dinner and reuse the leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day. You can save an average of up to $25-$30 a week by reusing leftovers from the night before and it will be healthier too.
- Shop Around
If you have a lot of different stores where you live feel free to shop around. While one store might charge $3.79 for a loaf of bread another store just a few miles down the road will charge $0.79 for a loaf of bread. Don’t be afraid to use coupons either as well as keeping an eye out for buy one get one deal.
- Create a List:
Also, once the pantry is clean, you need to make a list. List down all the healthy foods that you need to make your meals and then head out to the grocery store.
Make sure that you check the wholesale stores first because you are trying to eat healthy on a budget.
- Stick to the List:
The most difficult but critical part of staying on a budget is to stick to the list that you have created. Stepping inside a grocery store exposes you to various options, and you can easily get lost in it.
Also, there are endless variations in healthy eating food items and processed low carb foods that cost way more than you are planning to spend.
Therefore, stick to your list and get out as soon as you are done.
- Purchase Whole Foods:
Whole foods are way cheaper than processed ones, and you can do a comparison to make sense out of it. A block of cheese is going to cost you way less than sliced or grated cheese.
Thus, buy food in its whole form, not the processed ones.
- Don’t Do Food Shopping When Hungry:
This means that you don’t turn towards junk food whenever you are hungry. Keep a veggie or a healthy snack with you when you head out, just in case your stomach starts growling.
This way, you won’t be spending aimlessly at all.
In the end, it is all about your determination! If you are willing to opt for healthy living, then you are going to make a way out of it. With these simple and easy to use tips, you can manage to eat healthily on a budget.
Sometimes it’s not easy eating healthy dinners on a budget, but with a little patience and practice, you can have plenty of nutritious healthy food and save money too.
Many people assume that unhealthy food is cheaper than healthy food. You’ll often hear people say that healthier foods are more expensive and that they can’t afford it.
In a 2013 study, researchers analyzed the data and came up with an estimate of $1.50. On average, overall choosing healthier foods will cost you $1.50 more a day than unhealthy foods.
That’s about $550 more a year.