Healthy Eating On a Budget
Whether you are a broke college student like I am, or a busy parent trying to balance bills, saving money is a top priority! Instead of using excuses to not eat healthy, like the infamous ‘healthy eating is expensive’, try to use these few ideas below to choose healthy foods, while not killing your wallet!
- The easiest way to save money while still eating healthy is to meal plan. Set aside time to plan weekly meals and grocery shop accordingly. Utilizing coupons, store cards, and foods on sale will keep more money in your pockets. This will also help you to avoid impulse buying.
- Limit your intake of junk food. By choosing foods that are nutritionally beneficial, you will feel satisfied and full longer, which could lead to a decrease in over-snacking or over-eating. Instead of reaching for that bag of chips, try to choose almonds, apples, bananas, or raisins. Try your best to stay away from prepackaged foods, and instead eat more whole foods which come straight from the ground.
- Opt for generic or store brand food items. These items are generally very similar, yet less expensive to buy.
- Let’s talk alcohol! Alcohol is an expensive habit with no nutritional value. Save yourself the calories and money, and just skip it all together.
- Brew your own coffee or tea at home! For the same amount as an overpriced, over-sugared, coffee beverage, you can buy coffee filters, a bag of coffee beans and make yourself coffee at home for a month. Instead of paying for sodas or juices loaded with sugar, drink only water all day. And guess what, tap water is free!
- Stock up with foods easy to cook and cheap to buy. Take advantage of these foods whenever they go on sale. Examples: Beans, soups, pastas, brown rice, meat or fish, fresh fruits or vegetables in season or frozen vegetables.
- Load up on high-fiber foods to stay fuller longer. High fiber foods include beans, seeds and leafy greens.
- Limit dining out. It costs less to cook the same meals at home. Cooking at home also allows you to monitor how many calories you actually intake.
- Make larger meals, and save the leftovers. The leftover can be used for an easy on-the-go meal at a later time in the week!
- Pack healthy lunches to take with you on your busiest of days. Instead of spending money buying 2-3 unhealthy, fast-food meals, you can pack a lunch for no extra charge. With the time you will save yourself driving to get food, you could instead take a quick walk around the building/block to give you some extra energy throughout the day!