A common complaint about eating healthy is that it is just too expensive. And while it is true that you can rack up quite a bill buying high quality, healthy ingredients, you don’t have to break the bank. We’ve already talked about how you can eat a healthy diet on $65 a week, but here are some tips that anyone can apply to their life, no matter what their budget is!
1. Buy in season
A big part of eating healthy is including lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet. To save money on produce, try buying what’s in season as those items will generally be cheaper.
2. Freeze produce
Have you ever bought a big bag of spinach or kale, only to have half of it go bad before you use it? Freezing extra produce will help you cut down on waste, allowing you to take advantage of what’s in season.
3. Shop sales
Get creative with your cooking by planning your meals around what’s on sale. You’ll be able to save money and maybe even try some new foods you don’t normally eat!
4. Buy generic brands
Don’t get caught up in brand loyalty if you could be spending less on generic brands. The important thing is to look at the nutrition label to make sure what you are buying is good for your body.
5. Join a rewards program
If your local store has a rewards program, join! Most of the time these programs are free, and they give you opportunities to earn cash back or discounts. You are already spending the money, so why not give it a try?
6. Buy in bulk
Often, buying foods in bulk will lower the overall cost of the item and allow you to save, especially with products that last a while like beans and oats.
7. Stick to your list
To avoid impulse purchases, make sure you have a detailed list with what you need. You could even try taking out just enough cash to cover what’s on your list to discourage adding extra items.
8. Skip the meat
Instead of relying on meat for your protein, consider whole food alternatives like beans, legumes, and plant-based sources like broccoli or kale. They are cheaper and more nutrient-dense than meat.
9. Try local markets
During the months when farmers markets are out, you might be able to score some good deals on local produce. If you go towards the end of the day, farmers might knock their prices down to help get rid of what is left.
10. Make your own food (and savor leftovers!)
Buying lunch at work or going out for dinner may seem convenient, but it adds up quickly. To prevent unnecessary spending, pack your lunches and make your dinners to continue eating healthy. Invite friends over for dinner and have everyone bring a dish instead of eating out for your next social gathering!
11. Cook in bulk
It pays to plan ahead and spend a chunk of time cooking at the beginning of the week. By making meals in bulk, you’ll be able to save money by buying less ingredients overall, and you won’t be wasting leftovers.
12. Be generous with spices
Spices are your friend -- even if you don’t have many ingredients on hand, you can make your dish come to life with the right spices!
13. Use a thermos
Instead of buying coffee or bottles of water, use a thermos to make your own at home to take on the go. You’ll save money while eating healthy and help the environment by not producing more waste!
14. Keep your kitchen organized
There is nothing more disgusting than looking through your refrigerator and finding moldy leftovers that you made 3 weeks ago. By keeping your fridge, cabinets, and pantry organized, you’ll be able to clearly see what you have, decide when you need to use certain foods up quickly, and accurately tell when you need to restock.
What tips do you have for eating healthy on a budget? Share with us in the comments below!