How to eat healthy on a budget. There’s not one of us who can’t benefit from knowing about this!
Fact 1: We all want to look good naked!
Fact 2: Eating healthy is an important, if not the most important factor in achieving this goal and contrary to popular belief, you can’t out exercise a poor diet. So while eating healthy sounds great in theory it is often difficult to put into practice, especially if you are living on a budget because, let’s face it, the price of food has risen and our paychecks aren’t necessarily keeping pace.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
So how can we eat well and not find ourselves struggling to get by each month? Here are some tips to help you make the most of your grocery budget so that you have a little extra cash at the end of the month to celebrate reaching your health and fitness goals.
Here’s how you can carry on eating healthy on a budget:
• Buy produce that is in season – Fruits and vegetables that are in season are typically cheaper and more nutritious than those that aren’t, so research which fruits and vegetables are currently in season and plan your meals and snacks accordingly. If you find a really good deal on a certain item (can anyone say 10 for $10 on mangos!) consider buying extra and freezing what you don’t plan on eating in the next few days.
Shopping at local farmer’s markets is a great way to support local farmers while saving money and can be a fun way to introduce your children to healthy eating.
• Plan meals for the week around sale items in the store circular – If you shop at one or two stores for groceries make sure to plan your meals around what will be on sale that week. Carve out some time each week to pull up the online circular and see what is on sale, then brainstorm meals ideas for the week based on these items.
Just make sure not to plan a meal around an ingredient that no one in your family likes just because it is on sale as you will just be tossing that money straight in the trash!
• Shop with a list – Once you have planned out your meals and snacks for the week go through your pantry and fridge to see what you already have on hand and make a list of the items that you need to purchase.
On a side note, when you go grocery shopping make sure you don’t go on an empty stomach. Even with a list you are almost guaranteed to purchase items you do not need or things that are not healthy because your stomach told you to.
• Shop around – If you aren’t committed to one or two specific grocery stores consider shopping around to see if you can find better prices on some of the more expensive items on your list. Looking at store circulars before shopping can help you find better deals and prevents you from wasting time traveling to various stores only to find that the item was cheaper at the first store you went to.
Also make sure that you won’t be spending more money on gas traveling to different stores – you won’t be saving any money if it costs you $10 in gas to save $5 on groceries!
• Buy generic brands – Store brands are cheaper than name brands and are typically no different in taste or nutritional value than their more expensive counterparts. Unless you know for a fact that your child will only eat a specific brand, try generic and see if they even notice a difference. 9 times out of 10 your family will never know the difference and you will happily save some cash.
• Try vegetarian meals or cheaper cuts of meat – Let’s face it, meat is often the most expensive part of every meal. While many of us enjoy a nice steak or big, juicy hamburger it isn’t going to kill us to cut meat out of our diet once or twice a week. Eliminating meat from our diet one day a week can save big bucks and gives us the opportunity to try new recipes and experiment with new foods.
If you must have meat at every meal, try a cheaper cut and experiment with different ways of cooking (think crock pot meal with a tougher cut of meat) to enhance the flavor and texture of that particular cut of meat.
As you can see, with just a little planning and an adventurous spirit you can make eating healthy fun and affordable
Now, get out there, put these tips into action, and save some money!! As always, I’m here to help so if you have questions or are looking for a personal trainer or nutrition coach you can find me on my Expert Profile page. Happy, healthy living my friends!!
Connect here with WatchFit Expert Pauline Shiver eating healthy on a budget